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Old 10-29-2017, 11:28 AM
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Dave Barker Dave Barker is offline
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Location: Whitby
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Re: Proposed Rule Changes for 2018

Originally Posted by Saj5DJ View Post
I think mandating HANS for running a 5/6pt is a very sensible proposal first of all, and shouldn't wait for 2019. The risks of serious injury with multipoint harness and no HANS in even moderate frontal impacts are way high.

Lastly, car structure does not matter in terms of preventing basular skull fracture in side impacts (the likes of which are very possible in solo competition), neither does HANS. Your only mitigation there is suitable containment seat and/or nets, or stock 3 pts that allow the body to move (and, if you're lucky, the side airbags that your car has).

For anecdote, I can supply a link via PM to a thread discussing a fatality at Summit Point last year. Cliff notes: Caged E46 M3, side impact on passenger side, 5 pts, HANS, no containment seat. Passenger actually survived with minor injuries, driver died on site from BSF. This was an HDPE with, by all accounts, driver experienced with competition,
I think the whole issue revolves around relative risk as all motorsports carry risk. Even F1 drivers can die in competition despite the best safety devices in the racing world

I think most everyone agrees that a frontal impact is more likely than a roll over (at least for my type of car). I perceive my relative risk to be higher for an occipital bone fracture in a frontal impact than cervical spine injuries received with the use of a harness and a roll to the left. My relative risk could be mitigated by the use of a head and neck restraint. NO it does not prevent me from all injuries but to me, is an improvement in risk over the rules we have now. It is possible that the OEM airbags would save me from this but they are generally not designed for such high speed impacts. After all people still die in cars with airbags. (Just to make things more complicated, we allow the removal of airbags!!)

I think we are in agreement that using a 5+ point harness and no head and neck restraint is likely MORE dangerous than a 3 point (something that up until now we have ignored) . As for your anecdotal report re the BMW, it can be also be seen that head and neck restraints don't prevent injuries in side impacts, at least those on the passenger side. It is a bit of a stretch to say the OEM belt alone vs the head and neck restraints are the better way to go from this one incident. One could easily argue that OEM belts allow a lot of sideways movement and therefore secondary impacts of the driver/passenger inside the struck vehicle which in many cases would lead to severe internal injurys although not basal skull fractures.

So my point is either we go full out, i.e to use a 5+ point requires a cage, head and neck restraint and a containment seat i.e strictly stiffen our requirements from present or we put the responsibility back on the competitor just like we do for brake work etc. There are examples of different groups going different ways with this decision.

Now just to add an addendum to this, most everyone agrees a harness is performance enhancing. If we go to a tougher more restrictive stance than we have now, we might want to PIP the use of a harness in general (as opposed to making it available to potentially everyone)

What do you think?
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Last edited by Dave Barker; 10-29-2017 at 11:43 AM.
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