Damon Hill - image courtesy of Flickr user big-ashb
Damon Hill’s F1 career spanned some eight seasons, enough for the British driver to rack up 42 podium finishes, 22 wins, 20 pole positions and the 1996 F1 Word Championship.
As a man who’s made his living by driving cars fast, you’d expect that Hill would have retained something of a lead foot in his retirement. After all, F1 drivers possess a mastery of car control in all weather conditions that few mere mortals can rival.
Not so, says Piston Heads, who report that Hill is actually opposed to raising Britain’s motorway speed limit to 80 mph. In fact, the thought of untrained drivers humming along at 80 mph “makes him shudder,” as most drivers, in Hill’s opinion, lack the concentration necessary to drive at 55 mph, let alone faster.
Hill admits that he rarely drives above 70 mph on motorways, calling it “too stressful.” Fellow motorists “drive too fast, too close to the car in front, and they think they know what they’re doing.”
We can’t really argue with Hill’s comments, and hope for his sake that he never has to drive in U.S. cities like Miami, New York City, Boston or Los Angeles, where the governing rule of rush hour commuting seems to be “survival of the fittest.”
Should Hill visit Austin, Texas for the U.S. Grand Prix, he’ll probably want to avoid driving on State Highway 130, too, especially if the proposed 85 mph speed limit gets approved. If Hill thinks U.K drivers are unqualified, God only knows how he’d rate motorists on this side of the pond.
We believe the solution to the problem on both sides of the Atlantic is better driver training, which (sadly) isn’t near the top of anyone’s priority list. At least Britain requires annual MOT inspections for vehicles, something the U.S. does not; while Britain’s drivers may not be much better than our own, at least they’re over-driving safe cars.
Image credit: Flickr user big-ashb, licensed under CC 2.0