Hello all, I realize its been a while since I wrote a post, but I've been a bit on the busy side with my racing and some other things (In other words, don't EVER buy a boat)
Today I want to take some time to talk about Head and Neck Restraints, Pros/cons of each and what you should know. First things first to get this out of the way, if you a racing or on track in a car that has 5/6 point harnesses, WEAR A HEAD AND NECK RESTRAINT, IT WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE!
Now to go over some options and info on these devices:
A) HANS Device (http://www.ogracing.com/hans-device-sp…)
the hans is the original head and neck restraint, arguably the simplest, and definitely the most popular. Originally developed in the 80s by a doctor and his brother in law SCCA racer, the Hans has proven extremely effective and popular. The hans works by being held down by your shoulder straps on a harness, and by a sliding tether off the back of the device to an anchor system on your helmet. In a crash, the hans prevents your head from literally flying off your spine. The hans has several options, being either made in the sport version (a heavier carbon) the Pro (ultra lightweight carbon fiber) the padding underneath of it (foam or gel) to the anchors and tether links. by far the most popular is the 20 sport with a sliding tether and post anchors.
B) Simpson Hybrid Sport/pro (http://www.ogracing.com/simpson-hybrid…)
The hybrid is another head and neck restraint made by simpson (who also owns HANS), it works similar to the hans but slightly different. the big difference is the hybrid actually straps around your body and can tether into your harness system (they call it the SAS system for seatbelt anchor system). many people incorrectly assume that a hybrid is safe to use without a 5/6 point harness due to strapping around your body. that is incorrect and it is still meant to be used with harnesses. the options with the hybrid include anchors (m6 or post style) or SAS (with or without).
C) Simpson R3 (http://www.ogracing.com/simpson-safety…)
The R3 is another option from Simpson (notice a pattern?) that is again similar but slightly different from the previous two options. The big difference with the r3 when compared to others, is that it is molded all the way down ones back. supposedly the r3 is useable without 5/6 point harnesses, but I personally have not seen data to back that up, and thus cannot recommend that. the r3 comes with a seat back insert for comfort in a car, and does not come with many options.
D) Necksgen Rev (http://www.necksgen.com/)
Necksgen is its own company that is slightly different, but still works by being held down by the harnesses and anchoring to the helmet. I personally haven't had my hands on one of these yet, so my knowledge is limited. My big concern would be how it holds in place without the front chest pieces, but again I haven't seen enough to judge.
E) Foam "Donut" Collar (http://www.ogracing.com/simpson-nomex-…)
Made by many companies, these supports are what they are. they are not head and neck restraints and offer minimal to no protection in an accident. they were made to reduce fatigue on the neck, but even then seem to be subpar at that. I strongly DO NOT recommend these as protection in an accident.
That wraps me up for today, please comment with feedback as I am looking for more on this safety series. since I've been away a bit, I will re-link all of the articles in my series so far: