Street Racing: Dangerous and Illegal

by tylercook on July 27, 2013

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While recent trends in Hollywood and other media sources may portray street racing as an exciting and thrilling way to show off your car, it is truly a dangerous hobby that could leave you behind bars (or worse, critically injured). From high injury and fatality rates, to laws that prohibit racing in all forms, this activity comes with an extremely high price tag. If you ever thought of getting behind the wheel to test your skills in a race, heed this warning and reconsider your “need for speed.”

Deaths from Street Racing

Fatalities caused by street racing are one of the most unfortunate and avoidable consequences of this reckless sport. According to USA Today, under a broad definition of street racing fatalities, 1,047 people were killed from 2001 to 2008, with the numbers believed to be increasing each year to the present day. And out of these 1,047, not all of them were drivers—the most common deaths are those of bystanders or innocent pedestrians who are not participating in the race at all.

And for those that survive a street race, 51 out of every 1,000 sustain injuries (both minor and life threatening), making this adrenaline filled activity also one of the most dangerous.

The Illegalities of Street Racing

While laws regarding street racing differ by state, certain things remain true: organized street racing is illegal everywhere, and it can carry penalties including fines, community service, or even prison terms in the most serious cases.

In some states, street racers can find themselves paying up to $1,000 for participating in illegal street races, or can even spend up to six months behind bars in the state jail. Some states even find spectators guilty, fining them up to $200 if they are within 200 feet of a race at any time.

To combat illegal street racing, some cities have banned traffic on certain roads that are heavily populated by street racers, giving police officers the ability to impound cars that are seen in the area between overnight hours.

Destruction of Neighborhoods

Illegal street racing does more than just cause injuries, fatalities, and prison terms for those involved. Neighborhoods and community areas populated by illegal street races can feel harsh economic drops that can have lasting effects over the years. Patrons are less likely to frequent areas that are populated with races or racers, causing the establishments to fall into oblivion after a period of time. Once this occurs, these neighborhoods or areas begin to fall into a spiraling economic decline, often leading to the prevalence of other sorts of crime or illegal activity in place of once-bustling hubs.

Because street racers are already participating in an illegal activity, it is often the racers themselves that begin to find themselves in other illicit behavior patterns due to the lack of community members in the area. Illegal street racing acts as a gateway into the realm of other, more serious offenses that help these individuals wind up in jail or prison.

Put an End to Racing

While it may look glamorous, street racing is neither helpful to the community, nor safe in any regard for the participants. Before you get behind the wheel for a race of any kind, think about the repercussions and follow the speed limit.


Douglas Chambers is a freelance writer specializing in cars, racing, car mechanics, car detailing, car repair and upkeep and other associated topics; to learn more about hot body kits and other accessories visit




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