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Thread: Make Head and Neck Restraints Mandatory?

  1. #1
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    Default Make Head and Neck Restraints Mandatory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Amy View Post
    Page 9:

    MEMBER ADVISORIES
    4. Driver safety equipment – The CRB would like input from the membership about whether head and neck restraints should be made mandatory.
    Greg,

    Shoud we try and have a united front on this? Otherwise they will get letters that read like this:

    To whom it may concern re: manditory H&N:

    No.

    Thank you,

    Joe Blow.
    *****************
    I would think that some substance would be great and I know you and Kirk are passionate about this...suggestions?
    Andy Bettencourt
    New England Region 188967

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Bettencourt View Post
    I would think that some substance would be great and I know you and Kirk are passionate about this...suggestions?
    Well, if we were to assume a standard opinion (and that would NOT necessarily be a good assumption) then we do need to clarify points.

    There's two issues here:

    - One, should HNRs be mandatory
    - Two, if yes to the above, do they need to conform to SFI?
    - Two-point-One: If not, should SCCA require any that are voluntarily used to conform to SFI.

    I suggest that if the answer to One is "yes, then Two quickly follows, as SCCA really has no choice but to require a "standard" for "required equipment". So, effectively, a "yes" answer to requiring HNRs is a mandate for SFI cert.

    We need to vet this idea thoroughly.

    GA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Amy View Post
    Well, if we were to assume a standard opinion (and that would NOT necessarily be a good assumption) then we do need to clarify points.

    There's two issues here:

    - One, should HNRs be mandatory
    - Two, if yes to the above, do they need to conform to SFI?
    - Two-point-One: If not, should SCCA require any that are voluntarily used to conform to SFI.

    I suggest that if the answer to One is "yes, then Two quickly follows, as SCCA really has no choice but to require a "standard" for "required equipment". So, effectively, a "yes" answer to requiring HNRs is a mandate for SFI cert.

    We need to vet this idea thoroughly.

    GA
    I agree - but we must be swift in our responses.
    Andy Bettencourt
    New England Region 188967

  4. #4
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    How about this:

    To whom it may concern regarding manditory H&N restraints:

    At this point many racers no longer have the discresionary income required to race at the same frequencys as in 2007 and this is apparent in the approximately 10% decrease in entries nation wide and comments from the National Office confirming the same. It would not be an overstatement to say that race turn outs for 2009 will also decrease at least another 10%. The addition of the high cost of H&N systems will cause yet more loss of income from entries and seriously effect the solvency of many racing regions.

    I ask that you do not mandate H&N restraints. Let drivers choose what level of protection and standard they want. Any discussion on the subject should be postponed until more favorable national economic conditions return or market forces drive the cost of such equipment down to a reasonable level.

    Thank you,
    Last edited by tom_sprecher; 11-21-2008 at 06:43 PM. Reason: After reading what I wrote it didn't say what I meant
    Tom Sprecher

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    ****- One, should HNRs be mandatory****

    NO, there is nothing wrong with the issue as it stands today. MANDATORY BULLSHIT will not bring a choice of protection to drivers. ANYONE jumping on a MANDATORY band wagon is no different than the Stewards making the decision for the Knowles issue. Sometimes people need to mind their own business.

    Why don't you folks who believe the HNR be manatory buy what the hell you want & write a letter sugesting the HNR be optional or none per driver choice. < That sounds like a great option to me.

    Do ya think the economy has over the last 2 - 3 years had an impact on the number of racers that enter events? Just continue FORCING drivers & watch the numbers crumble furthet yet.

    EDIT:
    ***I ask that you do not mandate H&N restraints until more favorable national economic conditions return or market forces drive the cost of such equipment down to a reasonable level.***

    Tom, why even suggest options.
    Last edited by ddewhurst; 11-21-2008 at 06:38 PM.
    Have Fun ; )
    David Dewhurst
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    Default Make Head and Neck Restraints Mandatory?

    From December '08 Fastrack, Page 9:

    MEMBER ADVISORIES
    4. Driver safety equipment – The CRB would like input from the membership about whether head and neck restraints should be made mandatory.
    Discuss.
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

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    Greg, (or Gregg-who will certainly chime in soon),

    Is there any data curently available which demonstrates a need for HNR in Production based vehicles which are required to retain the factory designed "crumple zones"? What about comparisions between the needs when driving an ITC Rabbit on Sebring Shortcourse, vs a tube frame GT1 at Daytona or Charlotte?

    I ask because these two situations are extremely different in the amount of force, mass, and speed potential of each vehicle. Further, If the crumble zones are retained, such as in IT, or SS, wouldn't the theoretical G's experienced by the driver be substantially lessened.

    In NHRA, Higher speed potential = higher level of safety equipment. This makes sense.

    Just discussing, not being a Smrt A$$. I've wondered about this often. If I were racing a 700 hp Tube frame anything, I'm sure I wouldn't even ask this question.

    Thoughts
    Jim Cohen
    ITS 66
    CFR

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    What has been the impact of the H&N recommendation per the GCR over the past couple of years? Have we lost significant numbers of drivers to neck injuries in that period of time? Does SCCA do a good enough job of CYA in making the recommendation and not mandating?

    Just a couple of thoughts that come to the forefront of my mind. Whatever happens, we must be certain to keep SFI out of the mix. Could this be an opportunity to get the RSI concept in front of a sanctioning body? This seems to be a real opportunity for us to institute some changes in the certification of safety equipment. SCCA has opened the door.
    Dave Burchfield
    GLDiv ITS #74
    Mazda RX-7(the one Kirk parked on the tire wall at Seattle)
    (or so I am told)

  9. #9
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    Sirs-

    I write in response to your request for input regarding the possible mandating of head and neck restraints.

    I implore you to continue your strong stance in allowing the drivers the freedom to choose the best protection for their needs, and to not mandate any device or standard.

    I have used the Isaac device for over 5 years now. I had it on when contact forced me into the guardrail, sideways, at Watkins Glen, breaking my ribs. I had no issues of any kind with regards to my head or neck. Of course, thats a single case, but I mention it because the Isaac has been proven superior in lab testing in lateral impacts to every device made.

    If you mandate a device, and it is SFI certified, you will force me to actually reduce my level of safety, and I will be facing a very difficult decision, whether to continue my racing with the club. Because of the other devices inferiority in lateral impacts, (which, by the way, are far more common), I will be forced to prurchase a "winged" seat, in an attempt to acheive the same lateral protection. However, my already smallish window (I'm 6'3, 200 pounds) in my coupe has now become effectively smaller, as the seat creates an additional obstacle to climb around in the event of a crash that renders my door inoperable. To me, reducing my ease of egress is a huge step backwards. Not to mention rendering a superior $700 device useless, and the need to purchase another $800 device AND a seat costing in the $700 range, for a total of $1500, That is, of course, over four race entries.

    In short, please do not force me to reduce the level of safety I already have, by mandating a policy that benefits consortiums of companies, who sell equipment that havn't been proven to be the best on the market.

    I strongly suggest you continue with no requirement.

    Jake Gulick

    ITAC member, club racer.
    Jake Gulick


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  10. #10
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    Fully and completely against the idea. The problem is if the SCCA mandates HNR's then they need to cover the implications that the mandate will bring. The way to do this would be to use SFI rating as an umbrella policy. With the use of the SFI endorsement comes the exclusion of HNR's that may be MORE effective at reducing deceleration injuries but do not meet the SFI letter of the law. As we all know. This is the ONLY reason I don't currently race with BMW club...they MANDATE the Hans and the Hans only. I am so passionate about this issue that I'd rather race with improperly classified Miatas than wear a Hans!!!

    No,no,no,no,no,no.......

    R
    Rob Breault
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Bro View Post
    Fully and completely against the idea. The problem is if the SCCA mandates HNR's then they need to cover the implications that the mandate will bring. The way to do this would be to use SFI rating as an umbrella policy. With the use of the SFI endorsement comes the exclusion of HNR's that may be MORE effective at reducing deceleration injuries but do not meet the SFI letter of the law. As we all know. This is the ONLY reason I don't currently race with BMW club...they MANDATE the Hans and the Hans only. I am so passionate about this issue that I'd rather race with improperly classified Miatas than wear a Hans!!!

    No,no,no,no,no,no.......

    R
    Why can't the people that don't want to wear them sign a waiver? That way the SCCA will be protected & we won't be forced to buy some $1000.00 pos that may or may not work.

  12. #12
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    good god, please no. Let me be responsible for my own damn safety.

  13. #13
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    Letter written.
    Christian in FL | Something white with Honda on the valve cover...
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    i was working in the garage, but saw i got an email on my blackberry and had to come post it up before anyone else sends their letters. i don't know who this michael lewis guy is, but he clearly doesn't have a clue. this was in response to my letter where i said mandating an SFI spec would be ruling out the best device on the market...
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Lewis
    Best device on the market? That would be surprising news to F1, Indy Car, NASCAR, etc who use the HANS device, but perhaps you’re including cost which is disgustingly high for the HANS in my opinion. Can you send me info on the ISSAC? Thx
    ML
    when you send in your letter, send them data, links to the ISAAC website, etc. if this guy doesn't even know about the ISAAC then the BOD/CRB is clearly not informed enough to be voting on this issue.
    Travis Nordwald
    1996 ITA Miata
    KC Region

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    Since I think they would be a slang name for felines about this, they would use the current SFI standard, so HELL NO. I just bought a freaking Issac this year by CHOICE.

    If and only if SCCA demands a realistic H&N restraint that doesn't rely on the standard developed by the makers of HANS aka SFI's standard, then MAYBE. The standard needs to leave the design free and rely EXCLUSIVELY on measured loads.

    NO MANDATED YOKE DESIGN.

    I was going to invest in other safety equipment for the car. This comes down, I've got to explain to the misses why I need another H&N AND it's goodbye to the new things. Net result - I'm less safe.

    Someone put-up a draft letter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjjanos View Post
    I just bought a freaking Issac this year by CHOICE.

    I was going to invest in other safety equipment for the car. This comes down, I've got to explain to the misses why I need another H&N AND it's goodbye to the new things. Net result - I'm less safe.
    Kind of like moving in to a house next to an empty field where there are already public plans to build a race track, then complaining about the noise when it happens.
    Josh Sirota
    ITR '99 BMW Z3 Coupe

  17. #17
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    Letter sent.

    Going to start posting on every forum that I'm a member of about this.
    Scott Rhea
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    Email sent.
    George Bugg
    Huntsville, AL
    ITA CRXsi

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    i believe that this may be a foregone conclusion and the best we can hope for is to mitigate. we should present potential alternates.

    below is my letter. if they must do something, then make the decision based on how well the devices perform.

    my comments regarding the 20% of budget is due to no-bid insurance is based on the Harris Platform statements here:

    http://www.greatlakes-scca.org/node/501

    i also forwarded my letter to the recent elected Great Lakes Area Director with the following comments;

    I had read your platform statement and I know that you said;

    "Continuing on along the current path will not lead SCCA to the future. The current BOD is highly biased to road racing and continuing the status quo."

    With regards to H&NR, I believe that the status quo is actually the most desirable. Also, I do not think that following NASA in this regard will lead SCCA to the future.

    If the use of H&NR is a foregone conclusion, can we at least require that the device pass a level of performance that can protect the driver in a lateral impact situation?
    To whom it may concern:

    I want to inform you that I am greatly concerned about Head & Neck Restraints (H&NR) and the ability of members to choose what is best for their vehicles and class of racing. I do not want to see our club make decisions based on speculation of what lawyers may or may not do.

    I am particularly concerned that the December 2008 Fastrack states that there were two requests requiring a specific Manufacturer's device.

    "11. Support for mandating the HANS device (2 letters). Thank you for your input."

    Some clubs have recently made uninformed decisions and declared that SFI 38.1 H&NR are required. I know because I recently let my membership in NASA expire because of this. This was after two podium finishes at the NASA National Championships in 2006 & 2007. I decided to no longer race with NASA and focus on my roots in Improved Touring in part because I wanted to be free to select what I believe to be superior technology in H&NR. Well, to be honest, also because I wanted to be free to select superior technology in tires but that was a smaller issue by far.

    It is my sincere belief that NASA's decision was uninformed because it was not based on performance. And for a club that claims to be a home for performance enthusiasts to base decisions on speculation of what may transpire in a courtroom instead of the performance that will transpire in a cockpit strikes me as ridiculous.

    Please refer to the link below that shows the resultant forces in a direct and lateral impact and the performance of various devices;

    http://www.isaacdirect.com/

    Please pay particular attention to the Lateral forces that are listed;



    Please note that some devices actually increased the Lateral load. Has anyone that has suggested that H&NR be required actually divulged the fact that you may be placing the membership at a higher risk? And if the HANS is mandatory as requested by two unnamed members per Fastrack, you are placing me at more risk. If you are making this decision based on courtroom speculation, you might want to speculate on that for a minute.

    I would not presume that there might not be pressure, either real or imagined, on SCCA to pass some sort of H&NR requirement. But, honestly, this must be a performance based decision and not some knee-jerk reaction because someone read that another club did something.

    It is my understanding that SCCA’s Legal Counsel is also its Risk Manager. It is also my understanding that 20% of the SCCA budget is insurance but that this has not been competitively bid for some time. This appears to be a conflict of interest in my opinion. If this is not correct, please advise.

    If you feel compelled to do something then please consider the following:

    Should this be based on the class of the vehicle? For example, Formula Atlantic has more potential for high energy impacts than Showroom Stock C. And if we are not going to consider this type of distinction, then why stop at wheel to wheel road racing. We should also extend it to H Stock Solo II. A racetrack that is specifically designed with run-off areas, guardrails, tire-walls and gravel traps cannot be compared with the immovable objects such as concrete light-pole supports in a parking lot, can they?

    No doubt some of you are thinking that my comparison of H Stock to road racing Formula Atlantics is absurd. And justifiably so. Is it because of the difference in performance potential? Did we just use Performance to decide if something should be used or not be used? Then we are effectively on the same page in that the Performance of the device or vehicle should be considered.

    I know that the primary sticking point with SFI 38.1 is that it requires a single release point. However, I believe that I am most at risk to a neck injury and not due to fire.

    I was a trained member of an Emergency Response team at a chemical plant. We were always drilled that head and neck immobilization was crucial. I have never seen the emergency response team at a track rush to an incident and immediatley drag out the driver as quickly as possible due to a concern for fire. It has always been a measured response to assess the situation and determine if the patient needs to be stabilized while others stand by with extinguishers.

    If you feel compelled to implement something, please asses the true risks and base the decision based on performance as outlined at the Racing Safety Institute ( http://www.racingsafetyinstitute.org/ ) rather than at SFI where specific H&NR producers were involved with writing the requirements that improved their position in the market.

    Thank you in advance for your consideration.

    Sincerely,

    Tom
    1985 CRX Si competed in Solo II: AS, CS, DS, GS
    1986 CRX Si competed in: SCCA Solo II CSP, SCCA ITA, SCCA ITB, NASA H5
    1988 CRX Si competed in ITA & STL

  20. #20
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    It is my understanding that SCCA’s Legal Counsel is also its Risk Manager. It is also my understanding that 20% of the SCCA budget is insurance but that this has not been competitively bid for some time. This appears to be a conflict of interest in my opinion. If this is not correct, please advise.
    Tom, that's a letter chock full of interesting info, but this one caught my eye immediately.

    At the risk of his web bots zooming in on the mention of his name, Matt8erg (HA! I foiled them by a graphic "slip" heh heh heh..) has done lots of digging into that very subject. I haven't seen nor read him since a wedding last April...wonder where he's been and what his digging unearthered?
    Jake Gulick


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