The Joie Chitwood Family has always promoted safe, courteous, and defensive driving. In 1941 Joie Chitwood Sr, in his second of seven starts, was the first race driver to wear a seat belt in the Indy 500 mile race. The rule of thumb back then was it safer to get thrown out of the car. This was the general thinking because of extreme fire danger and some of the drivers survived by being thrown clear of the wreck. There was no protection in the cars, no roll bars. The logic eventually changed and seat belts, hard full face helmets, fuel cells, and roll bars became compulsory.
Real and reliable crash dummy data was not available until the late 1980’s. So the “original” crash dummies, Joie Sr. and Joie Jr did roll overs and crashes for GM in the 50′ and 60’s. They also tested guard rails, and breakaway signs for US Steel in the 70’s and 80’s. The Chitwoods’ also helped to develope breakaway aluminum light poles with Alcoa Aluminum Company. These products are still used on the Interstates and highways today.
The Family is proud to have helped save many lives over the years and that most of the innovations are still helpful and useful. If you have ever seen a Chitwood Thrill Show you should have been thrilled, but also noticed safe driving on the highways was stressed many times during the performances. The Chitwoods always practiced and planned the way stunts and tests should work. “Safety First” is the credo stuntmen and race drivers continue to live by. The Mission of this Blog is to help every day drivers think and plan for safety every time they get behind the wheel. Buckle up and stay alert !