How Racing Saved My Life


Armchair Racer
Winters in Canada can be pretty rough. Often you’ll find people getting stuck on flat ground, and those that aren’t getting stuck or helping get someone else un-stuck, are usually crawling along at 10 in a 50 zone. However, ask any Canadian what the worst thing about driving in the winter is, the answer won’t be snow. It’ll be ‘Black Ice’. Black ice is basically ice that you can’t see until you’re on top of it. While black ice patches aren’t usually very big, they often sit near intersections, or on corners. Black ice causes more crashes and fatalities than anything else on the roads, simply because it’s virtually invisible.
I found out the danger of black ice when I was a teenager. 17 years old, driving my parents Honda Civic, I got careless and went around a corner a little faster than I should have. That’s when one of the rear tires hit a patch of black ice. The car went almost completely sideways instantly, but the next thing I knew, the car was cruising off the bend as if nothing had happened, with a very shaken up teenager behind the wheel. After taking a couple deep breaths, I realized I had just perfectly countered the slide off of pure instinct. Despite never properly sliding a real car before, I had countersteered and applied the throttle to pull myself out of the corner nearly flawlessly.
But why did that happen? Well, I believe the reason I didn’t write off my parents car or myself is because I had been racing in Gran Turismo 6, and countless other racing games previously. I had countered spins numerous times before in game, and was so used to it that I could often turn accidental near spins into picture perfect drifts. My brain had simply processed the black ice as another case of this and corrected for it before I could even think about it. Playing Gran Turismo 6 had just saved my life. Now that’s awesome!

Any times where you ended up using video game skills in real life? Feel free to reply!