Even though a racing crash caused his blindness Dan Parker can’t shake his need for speed. So he’s gotten back on the proverbial horse and continued his racing career, but with a catch. The National Federation of the Blind says that Parker is the first blind person to drive a vehicle at 50 mph, 100 mph, and 150 mph in his Corvette. Can you guess what his next attempt will be?
Parker plans on becoming the fastest blind person on Earth
In 2012 Parker was involved in a drag racing crash in his 1963 Corvette. It resulted in him losing his sight. Rather than give up racing he’s made attempts at breaking speed records for blind people. Now, with his C6 Corvette, he plans on becoming the fastest blind person on Earth.
The goal is to break the blind driver 200 mph barrier
The goal is to break the 200 mph barrier for the fastest speed with the driver blindfolded. Of course, Parker won’t need the blindfold. And if you think he’ll be the first to attempt breaking the 200.5 mph Guinness World Record you already know he’s not. A man from the UK set that record a while back.
Parker will make the attempt in his Corvette harnessing 800 hp. “Of course, for me, the blindfold will not be necessary,” Parker told Automotive News. “My 2008 Corvette is a purpose-built race car and I designed every aspect of it. With the work of the Blind Driver Challenge, we will not only demonstrate that a blind person can drive a vehicle safely, but that we can do it at over 200 mph. Together we hope to inspire blind people and to demonstrate our capacity, make history by setting a new world record, and show the potential of new technology like self-driving cars to help blind people break barriers in everyday mobility.”
Parker’s Corvette has a custom guidance system
GM’s Cruise division is assisting in the record attempt. His Corvette has a custom guidance system for starters. It gives out auditory cues for Parker to pick up and respond to. He utilizes a similar system for his own business called The Blind Machinist. For it, he does machine work in his home shop for his website and for clients. In the video above he reveals his digital calipers with audible callouts which aids him in machine work.
Parker was especially motivated because he’d like to see the record go back to an American. Patriotism is just one more thing that motivates him to make this speed record attempt. But his main motivation is to not have his blindness keep him from doing something he loves.