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Dodge Viper Crashes Prove the Car is as Dangerous as Its Reputation

Dodge Vipers have long been known as widow-makers because they lack basic safety features and technology that we take for granted in our average commuter cars. With a whopping 8.3-liter engine under the hood of most, with small variations in that displacement, these home-grown American supercars are powerful, prestigious, and, as the Viper name eludes to, poisonous.

What makes the Dodge Viper so dangerous?

Inside and out, the Dodge Viper is a truly raw and amazing machine. It turns heads just from the sound of the roaring V10 engine, and it doesn’t disappoint in appearances. Whether it’s an early generation or one of the last, it’s easy to see why so many drivers love the driver-focused experienced of the track-oriented vehicle, but it doesn’t come without some downfalls of its own. In fact, the cars have proven to be deadly on more than one occasion, as we learned last year from the fatal and tragic accident with JR Garage, as HotCars kept us updated.

It takes an experienced driver

My husband had owned his 3rd generation Dodge Viper since before we had met and dedicated as much time behind the wheel as he had under the hood — even after the unfortunate incident where, and I stand by this, I wasn’t the person who blew up the engine, for once. Then, it was wrecked again after he drove the supercar into a ditch.

I had seen many videos and read every blog that explained that the Viper was a car unlike any other because it took a true driver to handle properly, but sometimes, all it takes is the wrong footwork at the wrong time, in the wrong weather conditions, and even the most experienced driver is at the car’s mercy.

A garage full of the worlds largest dodge viper collection
The world’s biggest Dodge Viper collection on show | Blake Wilson, Getty Images, Barcroft Media

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What makes the car so dangerous?

What is it about the striking Dodge Viper that makes the car so famous? After all, it didn’t receive the nickname of ‘widow-maker’ for no reason. Under the hood is a large displacement V10 that demands torque and power, and it rests as far back as possible, giving the car a surprising amount of agility when navigating corners. But, it does lack a lot of the standard safety features we take for granted in modern-day cars, the most essential of which being traction control.

A track edition dodge viper takes a hard corner at the track
2016 Dodge Viper entered and driven by Dean Kearney at Goodwood | Michael Cole/Corbis, Getty Images

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The Dodge Viper has proven to live up to its reputation as a dangerous piece of machinery, but just like any other high-horsepower car, this American supercar takes a certain level of expertise and finesse to truly, and safely, master.