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383
450
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
SoCal
To say Nationals went to plan would be a massive, massive understatement. I'm sure those of you who were at Nats are likely sick of hearing about it, probably as much or more than I am talking about it. Just got home, back fatigue is really setting in, but I'm going to hunker down and put this post down now that I've got internets.



off to a great start

Had a great car all year, really starting to find her rhythm, and in the 2 months I had my pc, I don't know how somebody could mathematically put in more laps on that f***ing track. When I wasn't simming it, I was stalking the competitors social medias, watching friends with similar setups videos there as well, so there was reason I was quiet during the NASA SoCal 3 month heatbreak, I was preparing for war. I'd lost 35 pounds, with the car coming in at 3590 with me in it, 15 under my 3605 that I used to run at.. but could be fixed with fuel as an extra 0.1 comes at 3601+, for safety. I had flown my Mom in from the east, rented an RV, and we made our trip up. For those who saw me noticing that I was dressed like a clown (moreso than normal), well, one of the bags that we forgot was my clothes, so I was wearing Walmart's hottest fall fashions. Besides, I'd just run around in the suit the whole time, so no big problem. Finally made it up Tuesday night, and was I believe the first occupant in the Lake Bed Paddock, which was a different and really nice change of pace.

Wednesday morning was going out with NCRC, my plan was to go out easy, and try to balance the simmings suggestions vs the real thing, and not sure who was out with me, try not to show too much of my hand, migrating traffic and getting good runs at a few turns here and there. Being half deaf and having mufflers now, I was also trying to get the tones right and my rhythm down.

View attachment 79301View attachment 79302

Kept bumping into traffic, and near the end of the second session, I put together perhaps the worst lap of my life. I have played this lap over in my head for the last 5 days, almost down to each hand and foot gesture. Grabbed my 2nd gear for turn 11, something I had been able to do with like 10% success since I thought I had lost it way back in February's Willow Springs event... but then f***ing flubbed 3rd coming by the hotpits.

View attachment 79303

the worst lap of my life, the last lap of hers

Flubbed another one out of 2b, then realize it's me thinking too much, it's the prototypes that I can't see with the new halo seat which is yes, now blocking the usual over-shoulder mount. I saw them exit 11 when I was just going over into 1, so I figure they made up that gap, especially with these goofs, might as well take it in, try to fix mirrors, grab some lunch, and clear my head. I point Chin by.

View attachment 79304

you too, Croiset, at least I caught your big bubbly thing

View attachment 79305

alright, cleared, let's get a nice 5, 6, 7, 8, and coast it after a quick shot out of the corkscrew.

Nope, another flub. I do gestures so that when I'm scrubbing video, I can quickly find the places I'm signaling to my future self. Not happy now.

View attachment 79306

Braking at the stripe, I had a nice hard brake, a little chirp as I was right at threshold, weight shifts forward, big brakes come alive and I'm do.... oh f***, lost pressure and I punch the floor.

View attachment 79307

pump pump pump, please no, pump pump -- nothing. I did not know at the time, but my front right inner caliper bleeder valve had loosened enough, blown/melted the cap off, and was spraying fluid on the inside of my wheel, and perhaps between the rotor and pad.

I can barely afford to fix the Stripper, much less the Stripper AND another car. I guide her right to just clear him... and in that moment decide a side collision into the tires gives me the best suvivability when compared to a head on collision. Grab the wheel, hard left, pull the e-brake, and welp, adios, it's been a fun one.


View attachment 79309



and just like that... she's gone.


got sideways, across the pavement, right side into the sand, kept rotating, so now I'm looking at the flagger and car, rear-3/4 impact, roll onto the tire wall, flip staight up in the air, land on the roof, roll down the hill a few times, and land like I tell all my students, shiny side up, sticky side down.

All I kept hearing through the pits was people talking about how they just have to get that famed corkscrew shot for marketing purposes, because, it's not like somebody can tell if you're doing 15 vs 55 anyhow, but at long last! Our corkscrew shot!

View attachment 79310
(Thanks Jordan Sideris for the shots)
View attachment 79311

Honestly wasn't there for the photos anyhow, I was there to win. Went to the hospital after a few ladies kept begging me to, and found out after some CT scans that I had some spinal fractures, and guessing a 4 month recovery time, lifting nothing heavier than 10# the whole time. So, not listening to the doctors, went back to the track and cheered everybody on, watched some great racing, lent my transponder, put some faces to names from some of you fine folk here, and some of the other TT2 fam. I also got more hugs in those 3 days than I probably had over the first half of my life, and I'm not even a hugger. Team TMO did pretty darn good out there, and Team NASA SoCal did too. I know a few of you were pulling for me, and I'm sorry to have let you down, but, at least I have a chance to try for another one.

Yet, despite all of that, NASA Nationals 2022 were fantastic, with them really upping their game, trying to highlight some of our stories and racing, heck, had I not wrecked, you would have seen my dumb mug with Karla Pestotnik, and how we must have co-ordinated our hair, jeans, and shoes in advance. (Narrator: They didn't.)

View attachment 79312

2 Regional TT2 Championships and a couple of records will have to do. Hopefully you enjoyed her story, because I certainly enjoyed writing it.

We now return you to your regular broadcast, already in progress.
I don't know whether to like this post to support you and acknowledge that I'm following your story or leave it un-liked cause obviously don't want "like" your wreck.
Either way, so so glad you're ok dude. It definitely makes one hell of a story though.

I showed this to my wife (she's a physician assistant) and she said do not take that back injury lightly. Take it very easy and rest up. Cars can be replaced but you only get one spine.
 
110
95
CA
So sorry for the loss of your car, but glad you are ok. I have never trained that hard for an event, yet when I don't perform as well as I hope, I really beat myself up. I can't imagine the frustration you must be feeling. At the same time, you got smarter, healthier, and get to live to tell one hell of a story 🤠

It was nice to hear that the TMO gang was there to support you too.

So this can be a learning experience for all of us, I have some questions if you don't mind, feel free to DM if that's more comfortable:

1.) The root cause of the failure was a loose bleeder screw? Do you know if it vibrated loose or was it not tightened properly in the first place?
2.) Did the doctor have any guesses as to how you got the spinal injury? The seat seems to move around a lot, but the roof didn't cave in so it doesn't look like you had any direct head to roof contact or anything like that...

So glad you are ok. We met at autoclub a long time ago (I believe you were driving an EV?) I was with my girlfriend and we were looking at 406 Racings car when you walked up. Nice to meet you
 

PaddyPrix

If breakin' parts is cool, consider me Miles Davis
620
888
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
San Diego
1.) The root cause of the failure was a loose bleeder screw? Do you know if it vibrated loose or was it not tightened properly in the first place?
I'm fairly certain now. Obviously, for good reason, they didn't let me inspect the car, and I don't have any reason to think with all the other stuff going on that they'd just start looking or fooling with my car, as the teams there were primarily concerned with getting me out of the way so that others could resume their sessions... oh, and putting those tires back on the wall with the forklift :D The metal that the calipers are in seems to be soft, and frequent bleeding and re-bleeding of brakes, something that people who race would do much, much more frequently than a regular street driven one. There's an aftermarket one that's actually two screws, goes into the stock space, and a smaller inner one that you'd use, and can easily replace. There is a little drip to things eventually, so it's hard to say which. The part that hurts the worst is, I switched to Castrol SRF earlier this year, and while it's like $80/qt, you don't have to bleed and flush as frequently as the others, like say Motul RBF600/660. I had 3 months, got bored, and double and triple checked everything, having a near perfect car for like... the first time.

2.) Did the doctor have any guesses as to how you got the spinal injury? The seat seems to move around a lot, but the roof didn't cave in so it doesn't look like you had any direct head to roof contact or anything like that...
I showed them the video on my phone, and so they saw me all thrashed around, and their guess was either on the initial impact which could have been 3-4G, or when I landed upside down. No data to show since it also trashed the tablet that was running it. The last we see is the speedo, which was calibrated/correct showing just above 80mph before I left the surface, so it's not like it sped up. I'm decently tall where my head is only an inch from the roof to begin with, and I can't do Willow Turn 8 at the speed I'd like, because I'm constantly slamming my head on the cage. The cage didn't budge from what any can see, and the harnesses through the seat and bolted through the body held me in even when the seat didn't. The big failure from the bouncing seat is that one of the few things I didn't check was where the plate that goes to the body and the slider rail that screws into it didn't have washers to distribute the load. It's a simple bolt and hard to see with all that busywork, but I really wish I had. That way the seat would have been solid and not bouncing around, probably making things even better. Can't blame the seat though, very happy I had switched into a halo seat. I barely fit in, and with my fat head, and the side bolsters, my head was just lightly tapping the sides. I'd guess for that, is why I didn't lose consciousness or have even the slightest neck pain. Honest, not trying to be tough, neck and head felt great.

So glad you are ok. We met at autoclub a long time ago (I believe you were driving an EV?) I was with my girlfriend and we were looking at 406 Racings car when you walked up. Nice to meet you

Haha, I remember that, I was driving that EV, which now when they destroy ACS means that I have a course record that will die with the track. 2:13.2 with a 100% Hyundai Kona EV. Not bad for 5000 pounds, 500TW tires, and 106mph top speed. Take a look at the Mustang Driver Challenge (MDC) that's going on with Speed Venture events, first one is Sat, Oct 1 at ACS. I'll be there cheering people on, wishing it were me the whole time.
 
185
139
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Bulgaria
I'm fairly certain now. Obviously, for good reason, they didn't let me inspect the car, and I don't have any reason to think with all the other stuff going on that they'd just start looking or fooling with my car, as the teams there were primarily concerned with getting me out of the way so that others could resume their sessions... oh, and putting those tires back on the wall with the forklift :D The metal that the calipers are in seems to be soft, and frequent bleeding and re-bleeding of brakes, something that people who race would do much, much more frequently than a regular street driven one. There's an aftermarket one that's actually two screws, goes into the stock space, and a smaller inner one that you'd use, and can easily replace. There is a little drip to things eventually, so it's hard to say which. The part that hurts the worst is, I switched to Castrol SRF earlier this year, and while it's like $80/qt, you don't have to bleed and flush as frequently as the others, like say Motul RBF600/660. I had 3 months, got bored, and double and triple checked everything, having a near perfect car for like... the first time.
I'm getting more and more convinced that as anything else on the car the Brembo's are not up to the task of track driving. Mine are developing different set of problems. But overall not great hardware besides the marketing.
 
110
95
CA
I'm fairly certain now. Obviously, for good reason, they didn't let me inspect the car, and I don't have any reason to think with all the other stuff going on that they'd just start looking or fooling with my car, as the teams there were primarily concerned with getting me out of the way so that others could resume their sessions... oh, and putting those tires back on the wall with the forklift :D The metal that the calipers are in seems to be soft, and frequent bleeding and re-bleeding of brakes, something that people who race would do much, much more frequently than a regular street driven one. There's an aftermarket one that's actually two screws, goes into the stock space, and a smaller inner one that you'd use, and can easily replace. There is a little drip to things eventually, so it's hard to say which. The part that hurts the worst is, I switched to Castrol SRF earlier this year, and while it's like $80/qt, you don't have to bleed and flush as frequently as the others, like say Motul RBF600/660. I had 3 months, got bored, and double and triple checked everything, having a near perfect car for like... the first time.


I showed them the video on my phone, and so they saw me all thrashed around, and their guess was either on the initial impact which could have been 3-4G, or when I landed upside down. No data to show since it also trashed the tablet that was running it. The last we see is the speedo, which was calibrated/correct showing just above 80mph before I left the surface, so it's not like it sped up. I'm decently tall where my head is only an inch from the roof to begin with, and I can't do Willow Turn 8 at the speed I'd like, because I'm constantly slamming my head on the cage. The cage didn't budge from what any can see, and the harnesses through the seat and bolted through the body held me in even when the seat didn't. The big failure from the bouncing seat is that one of the few things I didn't check was where the plate that goes to the body and the slider rail that screws into it didn't have washers to distribute the load. It's a simple bolt and hard to see with all that busywork, but I really wish I had. That way the seat would have been solid and not bouncing around, probably making things even better. Can't blame the seat though, very happy I had switched into a halo seat. I barely fit in, and with my fat head, and the side bolsters, my head was just lightly tapping the sides. I'd guess for that, is why I didn't lose consciousness or have even the slightest neck pain. Honest, not trying to be tough, neck and head felt great.



Haha, I remember that, I was driving that EV, which now when they destroy ACS means that I have a course record that will die with the track. 2:13.2 with a 100% Hyundai Kona EV. Not bad for 5000 pounds, 500TW tires, and 106mph top speed. Take a look at the Mustang Driver Challenge (MDC) that's going on with Speed Venture events, first one is Sat, Oct 1 at ACS. I'll be there cheering people on, wishing it were me the whole time.
This is a great analysis, thank you for sharing the details.

Interesting in regards to the bleeder screws, but totally makes sense. Makes me wonder, do race teams have different types of bleeders? Or are they replacing calipers so frequently that it doesn't matter? I'll always be sure to check my bleeders before going out on track now. Should they have loctite on them?

Good find on the seat base, it's amazing how little details like that can make such a difference. Every track day crash I've seen involved a "side to side" movement of the head...hence me springing for a halo seat as well. Glad to hear it held you in so well.

I'm a member in the MDC Facebook group, but sadly I am moving to norcal this weekend so won't be doing many of the socal time attack events anymore :(
 

ChrisM

Mostly harmless.
1,165
1,383
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
SoCal
Paddy, we only met briefly but I am sincerely glad that we did and that this was not worse. It's not great, that's for sure, but please don't try to rush recovery. I've known too many people with back and spine injuries at work who tell themselves they can beat the timelines set out and end up taking years and many more surgeries than originally planned because they pushed it too hard. It is much more important to be patient and take care of yourself than to try and "tough it out" to get back into the game sooner.

Regardless, wishing you a full and swift recovery and very sorry to hear about what happened.
 

ArizonaBOSS

Because racecar.
Moderator
8,626
2,555
Arizona, USA
The bleeder failure makes sense, knowing what you know now. I admire your sense of humor about it all, in the days that have passed since the incident. Again, glad you are (generally) intact...sucks about all of this as you had a strong momentum this year!
 
5,496
6,450
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca

PaddyPrix

If breakin' parts is cool, consider me Miles Davis
620
888
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
San Diego
I'm getting more and more convinced that as anything else on the car the Brembo's are not up to the task of track driving. Mine are developing different set of problems. But overall not great hardware besides the marketing.
I don't think I'd say that, I am one of plenty who rely on them, and supposing you've got fluid and pads that are up to the task of stopping something so big so fast, it's a real difficult ask to upgrade to the kits which are that much more expensive. I mean, I'd love like an AP Radi-Cal, but like the $12k it costs rivals the cost of my car in the first place. The tip above from Sal is brilliant and probably something from his 837 years of racing that a newbie such as myself wouldn't have thought of from the get go, but with every failure comes a lesson to be learned, and I'll definitely use that on the next go.

The new GT500 ones are nice, but also real costly, but them being so huge presents other problems like tire selection, which at least for me, was my primary expenditure, since my regional class didn't have enough to qualify for free Hoosier or Toyos on a win. Tires aren't cheap, with a set of 315/30/18 A7's going for about $2000 with shipping, mounting, etc. Using a larger caliper like the GT350 means that you're generally on 19's, and that means the cheap scrubs are gone, and pretty much 3R's or A7's. I had 18x12's, but the 335/30/18 was even more, and as I had previously run on 20's with my 19GT, the 305/30/20 is a $600/tire.

Since TT1 and TT3 are big here, if/when I'm back, I'll classify there, already winning TT1 in TT2 form, and hope to further lessen the load, and then dial it back in for TT2 at Nats, as I didn't have the power for true TT1, and would be way too heavy for TT3.
 
185
139
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Bulgaria
I don't think I'd say that, I am one of plenty who rely on them, and supposing you've got fluid and pads that are up to the task of stopping something so big so fast, it's a real difficult ask to upgrade to the kits which are that much more expensive. I mean, I'd love like an AP Radi-Cal, but like the $12k it costs rivals the cost of my car in the first place. The tip above from Sal is brilliant and probably something from his 837 years of racing that a newbie such as myself wouldn't have thought of from the get go, but with every failure comes a lesson to be learned, and I'll definitely use that on the next go.
Yeah the anti-size tip makes sense. But if you stop by my build thread you will see how the brembo's are not happy with frequent brake pad changes as well (though I think is my mistake). I was talking more in line with something like Baer BBK or Powerbrake BBK's. I agree on your assessment on tire cost if you are stuck in 19's (know good well the issues there) and that it will move the tire budget up. But we should be mindful of the fact that our Brembo's were made for SUV's and not for track duty.
 
221
173
MD
Yeah the anti-size tip makes sense. But if you stop by my build thread you will see how the brembo's are not happy with frequent brake pad changes as well (though I think is my mistake). I was talking more in line with something like Baer BBK or Powerbrake BBK's. I agree on your assessment on tire cost if you are stuck in 19's (know good well the issues there) and that it will move the tire budget up. But we should be mindful of the fact that our Brembo's were made for SUV's and not for track duty.
I feel like several people have had huge success with the brembos. Don’t really see any upgrading from it unless it’s the GT350 set up but even the added weight of that isn’t worth it.
 

PaddyPrix

If breakin' parts is cool, consider me Miles Davis
620
888
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
San Diego
Yeah the anti-size tip makes sense. But if you stop by my build thread you will see how the brembo's are not happy with frequent brake pad changes as well (though I think is my mistake). I was talking more in line with something like Baer BBK or Powerbrake BBK's. I agree on your assessment on tire cost if you are stuck in 19's (know good well the issues there) and that it will move the tire budget up. But we should be mindful of the fact that our Brembo's were made for SUV's and not for track duty.
I'll certainly take a look. I changed pads rather frequently at the start and got pretty good at the end as I always paired them with rotors, having a street pad + rotor, and then a track pad and track rotor. Took me a few extra minutes to swap every time, but I had full confidence after I had properly bedded them to their specifications. I struggled with the stock (base/GT350) master cylinder, but once I changed to the PP1 Brake Booster and Master Cylinder, it went from a weakness to a strength, plenty of videos where I'd outbrake people, and just had to then unlearn the bad brake habits I had when it was inconsistent, which probably was a big reason to this season's success, using all the track with that confidence knowing they're there.

I don't personally know of anybody running those BBK setups, and I'm sure they do exist, but there are plenty more running the 6P PP1's with plenty of success, and even still after the accident, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it still as my accident was perhaps just a freak one. Of course, I'm not here to preach, and I'm well aware that you getting your hands on product way out there changes things slightly, which almost more speak to going with what's "stock" and in high production numbers.
 

ArizonaBOSS

Because racecar.
Moderator
8,626
2,555
Arizona, USA
You can put a Brembo pro kit on your car for about $6K. That's not cheap, by any means, but it's not $12K, either. I have also raced on StopTech and Wilwood in other cars and those packages can also be highly effective. Avoid Baer for real competition use, IMO.
 
185
139
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Bulgaria
You can put a Brembo pro kit on your car for about $6K. That's not cheap, by any means, but it's not $12K, either. I have also raced on StopTech and Wilwood in other cars and those packages can also be highly effective. Avoid Baer for real competition use, IMO.
What's the problem with Baer :? I'm referring to the stupid bolt design on the front Brembo's like this:
IMG_0227.jpeg

Obviously if you are changing brake pads a lot you are on a borrowed time with the Brembo's.
 

PaddyPrix

If breakin' parts is cool, consider me Miles Davis
620
888
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
San Diego
What's the problem with Baer :? I'm referring to the stupid bolt design on the front Brembo's like this:
View attachment 79508

Obviously if you are changing brake pads a lot you are on a borrowed time with the Brembo's.
Ah, that might be a you thing. I put that part on last, and before I fire it through, I always make sure to seat that properly in its little rectangular place first, then pull it through, and then tighten it up.
 
35
68
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
SoCal
@PaddyPrix - first off, as I said at the track, I'm thankful you're relatively unhurt. It could have been significantly worse.

Myself, and the other SoCal RD examined your car on Wednesday when we saw it.

For clarification, it's not for some morbid curiosity. It's to help us understand when the equipment we use is put to the most extreme tests. We take these examinations seriously, particularly when there is a failure.....and the seat failure in the Stripper was FUGLY. For additional context - in February, there was an incident with a HC car @ BW. It rolled twice (as I recall). At the end of the day, I thoroughly inspected that car (I was the RD for the event), and EVERYTHING worked as it should - cage, seat, harnesses. The driver walked away with no injuries besides soreness.

That same weekend, an HPDE driver rolled their street 944 (may have been a 924), and landed in the hospital with injuries.

The seat bolts being pulled thru the seat mounting bracket is extremely bad (obviously). Now, after seeing your in-car video, and reading your posts (specifically about the bouncing @ WSIR), I suspect the seat slider/bracket interface may have been fatiguing for awhile, allowing the seat to move.

The only thing that saved you, IMO, is the harnesses and the roll hoop they were attached to - they kept you in the car, and somewhat in place.


Notice how much movement there was in your seat?? IT SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING - that seat should be FIXED, with hardly ANY movement. Certainly not the amount visible from your in-car. It's great you had a better seat than previously, but the lack of washers on the bottom of the bracket is what did you in. All four bolts simply pulled right thru the seat mount. Additionally, you have a cage in that car, but NO rollbar padding (at least none on they eyebrow bar visible in the video).

For others seeing this thread, and his in-car - this should be a wake up call. If you're going to put an actual race seat in the car, READ THE CCRs for the sanctioning body in which you drive on how it should be mounted. Even though Stripper was in TT, once you add the cage and a race seat, you must meet the NASA CCRs for the competition section.

NASA CCRs, v2022.2.1.

BTW - the CCRs change during the year, with no notification sent. They're now at v2022.2.1 - in mid/late August, they were v2022.2. I don't yet know what has changed. Check them regularly!

For NASA, specifically look at sections 15.6.21 and 15.16, 15.16.1 & 15.16.2:

NASA CCRs said:
A seatback support must be made to hold the seatback from failing in the event of a crash. A plate shall be used to distribute the load. No bolts, corners, or sharp objects should be placed in such a manner that could lead to a possible puncture of the driver in a high impact crash. Seat back support need not be attached to the seat itself. Proper design and installation are crucial to safety and it is recommended that the driver employ the services of a professional race car builder for this, as well as all other vehicle safety items. An exception may be made for those seats homologated to, and mounted in accordance with, FIA 8855-1999 or 8862-2009 standards. Those seats that qualify for the aforementioned exception must conform to the entire FIA 8855-1999 or 8862-2009 set of regulations, as applicable. This includes a mandatory seat replacement, or use of a seat back brace, for any seat more than five (5) years old (8855-1999) or more than ten (10) years old (8862-2009). Please reference the FIA regulations. http://www.fia.com/.

NASA CCRs said:
The driver’s seat must be securely fastened and braced in such a way as to minimize the possibility of breaking loose during an impact. Large fender washers and solid fabricated mounts are recommended. Seats made primarily of plastic, polymer, PVC, ABS, or other similar materials are prohibited. Fiberglass / carbon fiber / Kevlar seats made for road racing are permitted. The installation of the seat must conform to all requirements published by the manufacturer.

As Sergeant Phil Esterhaus always said, "Let's be careful out there."
 
35
68
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
SoCal
I had already been weighing the pros/cons of doing a full cage in my fun car. This is definitely making me take a harder look.
Please keep this in mind - if you decide to install a full cage, make certain of a few key items:

  1. It meets or exceeds the CCRs/rules for the sanctioning body you plan to run with (read them thoroughly BEFORE buying any materials)
  2. It has ALL the required items - proper mounting plates, proper welding technique, correct design, and high density (read: 45.1) ROLL BAR PADDING (sorry, this was a sore spot for me @ the Champs, as I found too many cars didn't have proper padding)
  3. It gets inspected, and a logbook assigned
  4. You should no longer drive it on the street
The last bullet point is important - once a proper rollcage has been installed, street driving is out of the picture, unless you want to drive with a helmet all the time (eh, might not be a bad idea! :)). If you get into an accident on the street, your head, and other body parts, can and will contact the cage.

The results, as you can imagine, would be fugly.
 

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