And Neck Support (HANS)
Only recently has the racing
industry acknowledged that the number one cause of racing-related fatalities is
basilar skull fractures from excessive head motions and neck loading. Racing legend
Dale Earnhardt's death proved to the racing world and the general public that
what appears to be a low impact crash can be fatal. Under development and extensively
tested for over a decade, there is a device that can reduce the risk of serious
injury or even death to the driver in such a crash. It is the Head And Neck Support
The HANS, head and neck support was invented by Dr. Robert
Hubbard, a biomechanical engineering Professor at Michigan State University. Many
debilitating or fatal head and neck injuries could be prevented using this system.
In 2000, compact versions of HANS (Figure 2) were developed for CART, IRL, F1,
NASCAR, NHRA, ASA, Sports cars, Power Boating and many other racing series.
testing has proven that HANS consistently reduces the injury potential from head
motions and neck loads.
The latest example
of the engineers' efforts to make Grand Prix racing as safe as possible is the
new Head And Neck Support (HANS). The system is easy to use and extremely effective.
It prevents over-extension of the driver's neck region in the event of extreme
deceleration. It is designed to 'complete' driver head protection, covering the
one aspect to be still exposed.
of the head and neck has, until now, been the only unrestrained area in driver
impact safety. Extensive research and testing has resulted in what experts now
believe to be a practical solution to the issue.
HANS features a carbon fibre
collar connected securely to the upper body, with straps attaching it to the helmet.
The four main parts of the system are:
Support brace- rests on shoulders.
2. Padding- is 'fine tuned' for both comfort
3. Tethers-high strength Nomex tethers secure helmet to support brace.
Anchoring- complete system is secured by standard 75mm shoulder straps.
fundamental purpose of the system is to effectively form a single 'body' of the
head and torso.
By purposely directing the
loads experienced following impact, the driver's helmet is able to assist in dissipating
the loads. HANS is intended to prevent driver's head from being thrown forward
in an accident, a common 'whiplash' situation which could lead to an over extension
of the spinal column.
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