We assume that those who crash will stay on the track and we don’t pay too much attention to the structures outside the track.
Spoken by the luge track designer for the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
It’s really quite an assumption to make isn’t it? It reminds me of a somewhat recent story about a drag race in America where spectators were separated from the course by orange cones. One of the cars got out of control and crashed into the audience killing people.
The organizers of the race could probably have said that they assumed the cars would not stray into the crowd. However, when you have a high speed vehicle in an uncontrolled environment you have to think about these things.
With the luge it’s the same.