This compilation of racing crashes in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s is a jarring reminder of when auto racing really was a life-or-death venture. Put simply, if you drove a race car during this period, you were as likely to be killed as you were to retire.
Thanks to ever-increasing speeds and no regard for driver and spectator safety, it was common for races to turn deadly. Because of the sacrifices these drivers made, racers, teams and sanctioning bodies have since come together to make racing safer than ever.
If "Killed Myself When I Was Young" interests you, check out the hour-long YouTube video "Grand Prix: The Killer Years," detailing the fight for even basic safety measures in Formula 1. Be advised that neither video is for the faint of heart; both are embedded after the jump.