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NASCAR Driver Safety: Are more safety procedures needed for drivers involved in crashes?

After Dale Earnhardt Jr revealed he was not required by NASCAR to get checked out after last weekend's last lap crash at Talladega, NASCAR should consider requiring drivers to head to the medical center no matter what.

Streeter Lecka - Getty Images for NASCAR

When drivers buckle up and race every Sunday, most race fans understand the risks they take doing what they love. With all of the safety mandates NASCAR has implemented over the last ten years, the sport has never been more safer.

NASCAR has done a terrific job maintaining driver safety, but did they make a mistake after last weekend's thriller at Talladega?

After a massive twenty-five car pileup on the final lap of last Sunday's Good Sam Road Side Assistance 500 at Talladega, Dale Earnhardt Jr was able to drive away from the wreckage and head back to the garage.

While talking to reporters after the race, Earnhardt said he was feeling ok but he was rubbing his head on numerous occasions throughout his interview. After that, questions were raised about his health.

SB Nation's Jeff Gluck spoke to Earnhardt Jr Tuesday via phone. He reiterated to Gluck that he was doing fine and that he was uninjured. Little did anyone know, NASCAR's Most Popular Driver was indeed hiding an injury.

On Wednesday, Earnhardt announced that he will miss the next two races due to the concussions he sustained at both Kansas (when he crashed testing tires for Goodyear back in August) and Talladega. He mentioned that after getting out of his vehicle last Sunday, NASCAR never required him to go to the medical center for a checkup.

It seems kindof surprising that drivers involved in that wreck weren't checked out considering how massive the wreck was. Earnhardt did take a big hit from Bobby Labonte after his car rolled down to the apron.

NASCAR does not require drivers to go to the medical center after driving away from a crash, but after what transpired after last weekends race at Talladega, NASCAR should consider requiring drivers to get checked out whether they drive away or get out of their vehicles because its better to be safe than sorry.

Its understandable that a driver wants to hide an injury so he can keep his ride, but its better for everyone to get treated.

Driver safety is a top-priority to NASCAR officials (we all know that), but they need to continue to come up with ways to make the drivers safety even better. It only makes the sport safer for all.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.