Head and Neck Restraint

Daryl Harsha

New member
Conference is going to have to remove the line "dedicated to keeping racing affordable" from the opening page of their website if they continue to come up with rules like this. I'm upset every time I have to replace a perfectly good set of seat belts every 2 years. Remember when it was 5? Now the HANS device (or whatever you want to call it). I've survived over 45 years of club racing without a scratch even though I've had several major crashes. I feel safe enough.

The Chief Steward even admits this is mostly a liability issue. I'm tired of lawyers dictating my lifestyle. Even if I could afford a HANS, I don't think it would fit in my car without modification. And since I'm on my own at the races and can't even hook up my belts with my helmet on, this would make it impossible. I've seen others who have to go grab a couple guys to help them belt up before a session. That's unacceptable to me.

Guess it's track days only for me if this rule passes.

Daryl Harsha
Formula Continental #97 (AKA "Spooky")
I have to replace a perfectly good set of seat belts every 2 years. Remember when it was 5?

Sort of a side issue to your post, but: It still is 5 years if you buy FIA-rated belts. In fact, if you look around for deals, FIA-rated belts every 5 years works out to being cheaper than SFI-rated belts every 2.
Without going into the passionate points that have made by many, myself included, there are just a few pertinent points to remember:

1) There are very few actions, no matter the percieved positives, that don't have some kind of negative outcome associated with them. I choose to wear a HANS device most of the time because of the high potential of my car - it just feels like it has the ability to create higher kinetic energy situations that might result in the kind of physical loads that it was designed to protect against. On the other hand, I know that it makes it harder to get out of my car in a hurry if I was in a situation that required me to escape a fire so I have to weigh those trade offs.

2) I feel that I am at least reasonably safe whether I wear one or not based on the fact that in the history of Conference we have neither had anyone burn to death nor die from a basal skull fracture in thousands of miles and decades of racing. I am happy to listen to the stories of those who feel that the device may have prevented or reduced injuries in accidents that have happened in the last few years and of course I am estatic anytime one of my fellow racers has a good outcome from a bad situation but we can't ever really know with certainty what "might" have happened. It's one of those urban myths like jobs saved or created .... At the very least we know we didn't have any of those fatalties in the very long time before HANS devides exisited.

3) In spite of the SCARY INSURANCE MAN and LIABILITY MONSTER being used as a boogie man intended to scare everyone into somebody's desired way of thinking, they really don't force us to do anything. Our insurers typically take a look at the premeiums we pay compared to the track record of payout costs we create to decide whether they are willing to insure us based on potential profitability. Of course they like us to take reasonable measures to reduce liability, we should do that just because we care about our fellow racers and want to be having fun with them for years to come. What you have to decide is what is a reasonable measure?.

We can continue to mandate more and more safety equipment at more and more cost until a significant percentage of our members just can't afford to race anymore if we want. We can make ourselves feel good by deciding that others aren't smart or responsible enough to make good decisions for themselves and simply make decisions for them. How much ends up being enough? This is the classic slippery slope. Mandating antilock brakes and traction control would statistically make racing far safer than wearing a hans device as would limiting top speeds. Requiring engineer designed cages with tested crumple zones and energy absorbing apparatus throughour the structure would do the same. When the only raceable car is a million dollar 8000 pound 15 mph top speed Volvo with computer controlled accident avoidance radar and autopilot will that finally be enough? Or are we doomed to experience racing sitting on the couch twisting a plastic controller so when there is an accident the only thing that gets dented is electrons?

The only way to pursue this insane desire to protect against accidents that might never happen to it's logical conclusion and make racing completely safe is for humans to not be involved at all. I make rational, well informed decisions about me own safety and all reading this should do the same. It is hard enough to worry about yourself these days, stop trying to mandate what others do.
Rick, I concur.

That being said, if I continue racing next year I will probably make what I would consider a one-time purchase of a Hans (as opposed to the stupid 2-year stupid seat belt stupid rule). At this point the cost is not a big deal for me. However I will continue to complain about the stupid seat stupid belt stupid stupid rule because it's stupid. Oh, and that reminds me: I have to replace my new stupid belts this stupid year.

So what would happen in the unfortunate event that someone suffered significant injury while wearing a Hans? Then were do we go?
If you are in a stupid wreck it is "recommended" you replace your stupid belts. I'm sure you will eventually have to send your HANS type device in to get recertified, along with your helmet and seat. Probably also will have to have your brake system and tires examined by a certified analyst. Oh, don't forget to get your fire system recharged and certified, even if it was not discharged. And get the cage renewed. I'm sure there will be more too.

Such is the way of insurance and liability. Cynical? Yep.
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NASA requires head and neck restraint device along with a "right-side impact head restraint system".

Just sayin'.

mmmmmmm hyperbole and coffee, it's like listening to Limbaugh inside a Starbucks... who are we kidding, that won't happen.
Daryl the tethers on the hans are long enough that you can put the helmet on the top of your head (Hans on shoulders) put your belts on as normal then pull the helmet all the way on.

Well that's the way i get into my FC when i have no crew to help.

86 Reynard FC
From the SCCA GCR 2012 (November)
"9.3.30. INSIDE NET
An inside net running between the main roll hoop and the dash is recommended
for all production-based cars and two-seater Sports Racing cars
(see figure 6). It is recommended that the lower strand of the net pass..."
Gary, buy FIA belts....
-I agree, all cages should have to be re-certified every year... And have the welds inspected as well! Haha!
-I'll be buying some kind of HANS device this spring.
-I also had a right side net in the Mustang for several years, got it off of ebay for $15 I think. Never got the chance to use it though. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Racequip-72...pt=Race_Car_Parts&hash=item5aec7cb347&vxp=mtr
Guess they've come down in cost.
Merry Christmas!
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Although the drivers voted (through the Contest Board) a change to REQUIRE head-and-neck restraints for 2013, the E-Board decided at the Spring Meeting that they will only remain HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for this season.
For my money, this is the best choice. It's adjustable and really comfortable. I drive a FF and I don't even notice it's on.


Why anyone would choose NOT to wear a FHRD is beyond me. May as well just undo your seat belts and loosen your chin strap while you're at it also. Wonder if you'd still feel the same if heaven forbid you ended up in a wheelchair for the rest of your life after a crash, that maybe you didn't even cause....."I cant ever walk again but at least I still have the $600 in my pocket." - said nobody
I don't understand the logic in not having one, either, but some people are REALLY agitated about it. (At the same time, from a free market perspective, I'd prefer that any wording relating to these devices NOT reference SFI or FIA standards.)
Simple: if everyone believes in them, can afford them (yes, some budgets are that tight) and if most everyone buys them, them why regulate them?