“The Thousand Miles”
All of Italy turns out every year for the Mille Miglia, one of the most exciting car races in motor sport. It is a celebration of tradition, passion and speed. It is where marques like Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Ferrari and Porsche made their legends. But it is also marked by tragedy.
The Mille Miglia, which means “The Thousand Miles” in Italian, was established by two wealthy racing enthusiasts who decided to create their own motorcar race when the Italian Grand Prix was yanked from their hometown of Brescia. They chose a course from Brescia to Rome and back, a distance of 1,000 Roman miles. The first race in 1927 had 75 starters, all Italian and the winner finished in under 21 hours.
The cars in the Mille Miglia were started in one-minute intervals. But the drivers were daring, and racing was dangerous.
In the 1930 Mille Miglia, Tazio Nuvolari drove like a demon to pass every car in sight. When he caught the last challenger, he turned off his headlights to remain undetected, followed the leader’s taillights, then shot ahead to win.
Nuvolari’s maneuver may have paid off on the racetrack but it wouldn’t be worth the risk in everyday traffic. Instead, when you’re behind the wheel:
- Obey all the rules of the road.
- Be alert to constantly changing traffic and road conditions.
- Leave yourself extra braking distance when driving large vehicles.
- Always wear your seat belt and insist that passengers do as well.
- Make sure that your vehicle is safe to operate.
- Don’t take chances-it isn’t worth risking an accident that could injure you or someone else.
Always follow the rules and go the extra mile for safety and you’ll have many accident- free years down the road.
In the 1957 Mille Miglia, a fatal crash took the lives of a driver, his co-driver and 11 spectators in the Italian village of Guidizzolo. It was caused by a blown tire, later found to be defective.
The Mille Miglia resumed one year after that fatal crash, but as a road rally for classic pre-1957 cars, not an all-out race. Renamed the Mille Miglia Storica, it draws historic car lovers from all over the world to this day.
Remember that you’re in the race for the long run. Use your safety smarts, keep a cool head, stop and think and always…
GO THE EXTRA MILE FOR SAFETY
Stay Alert, Use Seat Belts
* Copyright 2006 Harkins Safety
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