NEW LAND SPEED RECORD SET BY BLIND DRIVER
Dan Parker, a blind racecar driver, achieved the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title for the “Fastest Speed for a Car Driven Blindfolded” on Thursday, March 31, 2022. Parker set a new speed record of 211.043 miles per hour on the runway at Spaceport America in his custom-built Corvette, which included an innovative audio guidance system designed to his specifications. The previous record was held by Mike Newman of the United Kingdom, who achieved a speed of 200.51 miles per hour in 2014.
Parker went blind as the result of a racing accident that took place ten years before. The record attempt was made as part of the acceleration of the National Federation of the Blind’s Blind Driver Challenge™ — an initiative that aims to call attention to the importance of breaking barriers in mobility and to demonstrate the incredible achievements of blind people. It was sponsored by San Francisco-based zero emission self-driving company Cruise and certified by Guinness World Records official Michael Empric.
“Our Daytona Blind Driver Challenge demonstration changed the perceptions of blindness held by society, including the perceptions that we ourselves held as blind people,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “It further demonstrated to the world that the expertise of the blind is critical to the development of nonvisual vehicle interfaces. NFB member Dan Parker has now raised the expectations of blind people even higher by independently driving a vehicle faster than any blind person has done before, proving that the combination of accessible technology and our own capacity allows blind people to safely operate motor vehicles even at high speed.”