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View Poll Results: Should HANS devices be mandatory in Skip Barber events? If yes, how?
Yes, they should be required. Everyone should buy their own. 34 24.46%
Yes, they should be required. Skip Barber should buy a bunch and lend them to new racers just like they do with helmets. 63 45.32%
No, They should NOT be required. They're effective, but it should be the driver's choice. 41 29.50%
No, They should NOT be required. They're not effective. 1 0.72%
Voters: 139. You may not vote on this poll

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  #101  
Old 07-19-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

We chewed on that one a year ago... Here's the thread Bill. There doesn't seem to be much upside to using it in an RT over a HANS according to the guy who tried it.
http://www.teamjuicyracing.com/forum...highlight=HANS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pork Chop Willie
Does anyone know anything about the R3 Head and Neck Restraint system? It looks like a competitor to the HANS device. But it is self-containing, i.e. it does not rely on the shoulder belts to stay in place. With all of the talk about how to keep the straps from falling off the HANS, it intrigued me. But I'm told it is not brand new, so what's up with it? See it here: http://www.pegasusautoracing.com/pro...p?Product=9570
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  #102  
Old 07-19-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Ah, I'm behind in my TJR reading! Thanks.
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  #103  
Old 07-19-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

While watching F1 qualy this weekend, there was a shot of Schumi taking off his HANS. The back (behind his helmet) portion seemed taller than the HANS I am accustomed to.

Does anyone know/ think they use something other than what we use?
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  #104  
Old 07-20-2006
AlDelattre AlDelattre is offline
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

I had noticed this as well - while I was in London the weekend of the Canadian GP I cruised through a race shop and actually asked, since all their HANS products were being sold as "Schroth" branded....

according to the sales guy (who seemed pretty knowledgeable) the HANS guys (Hubbard/Downing) have licensed other companies (eg Schroth) to make/sell HANS devices for specific markets under license - partly to expand channels, partly to increase manufacturing capacity - so in Europe you get a "Schroth" HANS, I guess - you can see their not-so-discreet branding on the tethers. I bought mine direct, on-line from them, I'll check the label to see country of origin...

He also said that some of the F1 teams make their own - custom fit to the driver's shoulders and specific angle of recline in the car - as long as it meets the FIA spec and test (and I guess they pay the HANS guys) they can do it.

However, I have NO idea why Schumi has the high-back model.

Our firm sponsors WilliamsF1 (yay! NOT) and we got to take a tour of the Williams "lodge" a couple years back (Ralf/Nick days) - the crew told us that these guys had their helmets and HANS custom molded to their craniums (crania?) to prevent ANY shifting under wind loading, same w/the HANS - eg notice how straight up some guys sit, vs Wurz when he subbed in and barely fit - HANS doesn't make a "Model 24.3" off-the-rack

Not sure all this is true, but it IS what I was told
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  #105  
Old 09-05-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

If SB makes HANS use mandatory, which they probably should do, they should negotiate with HANS on a good price for say, 20 (or more) of them, then offer a device to first time racers (or those without them) at a discount as part of the entry fee. Possible?
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  #106  
Old 09-05-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

I very much doubt that SBRS will get involved with that. We are a retailer of Hans and the markup is not that great. Either way we can give you a 5% discount off the price of the 30 Hans which is $1135 which would come to $1078 and we have them in stock.

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  #107  
Old 09-05-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Can't hurt to ask HANS what they could do, certainly worth the cost of a call to find out.

BTW Bob, the Sabelt bag you recommended was very useful this year, excellent product.
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  #108  
Old 09-05-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Doug, the problem I see here.... If you make a rule or something mandatory.... you HAVE to enforce it and police it. I do not mean making sure they have one before they go out, but what if you make it mandatory and the belt comes off one side and they crash and suffer injury. We "made" them go out with it on, therfor we hurt them. Too many lawyers? I don't want to go there, but thats what I see.
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  #109  
Old 09-06-2006
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Cool Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

I understand the dilemma but respectfully disagree.

If you're required to wear a helmet and fail to loop the chinstrap properly and the helmet flies off in a crash, is Skippy responsible? Or if you are required to wear a balaclava and neglect to put it on under your helmet or fail to zip up the required drivers suit properly and get burned in a fire, is Skippy responsible for that too? These responsibilities and liabilities seem to be managed effectively at the moment. There has to be a point at which the responsibility for using a piece of safety equipment falls to the user.

There will always be people with lawyers who will argue that someone else is responsible for anything bad that happens to them. But those arguments go against common sense and should not steer a company away from a piece of safety equipment that is now required in most series because the overwhelming evidence says they make a powerful difference to driver safety.

Arguing a piece of safety equipment that only saves life and reduces injury shouldn't be required because a belt might slip off and cause liability won't hold much sway with the parent, spouse or child of someone killed or injured because they weren't required to use one.

Considering the mounting evidence of its effectiveness, perhaps we are approaching the point where the liability for not requiring a HANS device will actually be greater than the risk of requiring them. Not sure what would tip the legal team in favor of it, but itís an interesting question...

BTW... This is not an attack on Keith or Skippy. I know itís a can of worms. Just venting strong feelings on the subject to further the discussion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopar92
Doug, the problem I see here.... If you make a rule or something mandatory.... you HAVE to enforce it and police it. I do not mean making sure they have one before they go out, but what if you make it mandatory and the belt comes off one side and they crash and suffer injury. We "made" them go out with it on, therefore we hurt them. Too many lawyers? I don't want to go there, but thatís what I see.
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  #110  
Old 09-06-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Pat, a very valid point about the helmet...
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  #111  
Old 09-06-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Pat:

Excellent points. The premise of this thread when Sy and I pushed the issue a couple of years ago (Yes, years!) was that the Series is based on instruction of newer and amateur drivers. Many of these drivers are unaware of the dangers and the equipment required to prevent serious injury or death. Others rationalize the expense of the equipment as a reason to not purchase a Hans and still others have decided it is not something for them.

The "school" should be teaching safety in all aspects of racing and should lead by example. Providing access to and or requiring HANS devices should be elemental in the teaching aspect of our series. We should not hide behind the rationalization that requiring HANS devices increases the Series' liability. This is proven technology and I for one know first hand that it has saved my neck in a severe crash.

Last edited by LimeRockRacer; 09-06-2006 at 07:13 PM.
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  #112  
Old 09-06-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Looking at the evidence, it is also clear that the HANS device keeps the elephants away as well. Where is all this evidence that HANS devices are saving all these lives? How does one know? Unless we have the same wreck with a twin not wearing a HANS we really don't have any proof. Every time someone has big hit while wearing a HANS we immediately credit the device with saving yet another life. Back at St. Michael School we wore St. Christopher medals but not seat belts, it seemed to work.

It's too bad the various tracks we go to don't take it upon themselves to put some real padding in front of some of these walls. It's been two rows of tires ever since I can remember.

Everyone has to take care of themselves. If the HANS device did not cost $100.00 per ounce I would probably wear one. But at current prices I choose to go without. If SBRS chooses to mandate them then maybe they should supply them just like they do helmets and racing suits.

OLDMAN
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  #113  
Old 09-06-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Oldman...

You beat me to it.

I agree... while there is evidence and test data that shows that a HANS helps in a lab, there is NO evidence that any of us have ever been saved by one in real life. Nor will there ever be.

Of course, that doesn't make it a bad idea to wear one. I do, and I am glad that I do and that I can. But, making it mandatory is another question entirely. As I said a long time ago, mandating safety equipment is a slippery slope.
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  #114  
Old 09-06-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

great posts!

I wonder what some pro drivers would add to this topic. Those who have crashed F1 cars, or CART rides, who have experienced serious high speed wrecks. Would they tell us the HANS saved them as we have read so often here?

Oldman, great post. While they may keep the elephants away, they have not proven as effective with deer.
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  #115  
Old 09-06-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

If you look at my Montreal crash in slow-mo as I hit the wall, you can see my whole head snap forward. I was bruised from the belts, including the anti-sub belts. I am supremely grateful to the inventers of the HANS. Wear your belts as tight as you can stand them.
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  #116  
Old 09-06-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by jp56
If you look at my Montreal crash in slow-mo as I hit the wall, you can see my whole head snap forward...
video on this page

(note: oops, I thought this had slomo, reg playback only, but you can still see the snap, sorry bout that)
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  #117  
Old 09-06-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by OLDMAN
Where is all this evidence that HANS devices are saving all these lives? How does one know? Unless we have the same wreck with a twin not wearing a HANS we really don't have any proof.
Even though it it not possible to perform a test in a real life situation to determine if the HANS device would actually have saved someone or even made a difference in a crash, I think it is still a good idea to wear one.

Take, for example, Dale Earnhart's crash at Daytona where he died from a basal skull fracture. This is something the HANS device is supposed to prevent. So without the HANS device he died, with it who knows, maybe he would have survived. So in this case the odds were without the HANS device 100% death; with it perhaps a little less. I'm not saying he would have survived, but it might have given him a slightly better chance.
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  #118  
Old 09-06-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

I don't think anyone would say the HANS is a bad idea. If you can afford one, you should wear it.

The point is, it doesn't save your life every time you crash. In fact, most times it probably has no affect. The proof is that people were crashing cars and surviving long before the HANS.
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  #119  
Old 09-06-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

It's a pretty safe bet he would have survived because the data I read computing his speed, angle of wall attack at the time of impact and the G-forces exerted by that speed and angle translated to the equivilent of hitting a concrete wall head on at 45 mph. There is little doubt a HANS would have stood up to those forces.

The problem has always been the "perfect storm" of deceleration and angle for a basal skull injury to cripple or kill someone. It doesn't happen all that frequently but when it does your life is either ended or changed forever, and it doesn't require particularly high speeds to occur.

The logical philosophical extention of Oldman's and 999's argument would be that neither seat belts nor helmets be mandatory either because there is no control group that doesn't use them and even if there were a control group there would be no way to quantify how much difference they actually do make.

All these mandatory safety measures do impinge on your right to get in a racecar without seatbelts, helmets or Nomex.. and drive into a wall if you feel like it. But that all looses traction for me at the point my tax dollars have to pay for assisted living or take car of a family because someone did themself in early and didn't check the fine print in their life insurance policy. Freedom of ideas and expression is a good thing. Freedom to burden others with your short sightedness is less than a good thing. (Not attacking Bob, Mike or anyone here, just making my argument)

OLDMAN had a hard hit at Lime Rock in July and I recall seeing him looking even more dazed and confused than usual after the race. (That's a joke Bob) It did cross my mind that he wasn't wearing a HANS and might have been more seriously concussed than he would have been while wearing a HANS... but we'll never know.

I had a hard hit at Tremblant in August where I pancaked sideways through the grass into the concrete wall at turn 11 and bounced back with almost no forward progress far enough to stop back on the track surface. The car was framed and I hit the side of the foam seat so hard I had rib pain for a month. Oddly I had absolutely no neck, shoulder or head pain from that hit. I've found it hard to imagine that those side forces would not have produced some considerable pain if I'd not been wearing my HANS. But of course... we'll never know.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rf360m
Even though it it not possible to perform a test in a real life situation to determine if the HANS device would actually have saved someone or even made a difference in a crash, I think it is still a good idea to wear one.

Take, for example, Dale Earnhart's crash at Daytona where he died from a basal skull fracture. This is something the HANS device is supposed to prevent. So without the HANS device he died, with it who knows, maybe he would have survived. So in this case the odds were without the HANS device 100% death; with it perhaps a little less. I'm not saying he would have survived, but it might have given him a slightly better chance.
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Last edited by dalyduo; 09-06-2006 at 02:06 PM.
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  #120  
Old 09-06-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

I would rather wear the Skippy driving suit and save money on the fancy OMP suits and buy a HANS. All it has to do is save your life once. I wear a helmet and protective clothing on my Ducati, helmet on my bicycle, and an avalanche transponder when back country or helicopter skiing. I love doing all these things, but I like to do it smart. The choice is yours.
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  #121  
Old 09-06-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

The issue of the HANS is alot more complicated that most realize. The 1) deceleration of the head with the associated risk of injury inducing stretch, and 2) the HANS induced relative motion of the brain in the skull (similar to "shaken baby" syndrome), and 3) the degree to which each occurs according to the g forces incurred with various forumula racing series, all have impact with regard to benefit and risk. In addition we must take into account the issue of the 4) frequency of improper fitting (and my experience from watching others,and my own, suggests that it is realitively often) and how that might increase the risk of neck twisting and related injury (similar to wringing a chicken's necK). At the end of the day, how many spinal cord injuries related to decelerating injury have we seen in the series? What is it that we are preventing? What risk are we incurring by a piece of equipment that is too often compromising the application of our standard seat belts? I know this is not popular. We would all like to be assured with a simple solution. I do believe that the device may actually have more benefit in very high speed deceleratins than the problems that it might incur. There is medical data suggesting that since its use that the number of concussions have actually gone up - related to "brain shear" - you might actually be better off to stretch you neck a bit more that transmit all that energy to rotating your brain. Who knows? I raced at Mid O this past weekend; I had my HANS with me, but thinking about some of my more recent trauma patients and the nature of their injuries, my difficulty getting the belts to reliably adher to the HANS, the infrequent history of spinal related injuries in Skip racing, I left it in the bag.
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  #122  
Old 09-06-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

By the way, there is no way that we should mandate the use of the HANS in Skip racing.
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  #123  
Old 09-06-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Oldman..so basically you are saying you can't afford 1 race to keep your eggs in the basket?

When I get a chance I will post the crash I had at LRP in 2004 into the tire wall at about 90 MPH after track out of the downhill. I had just put my HANS on. After the Video comes back on after the impact you will see Rob and EMS coming over to me; To whom I indicate the only pain to my head and neck was at more forehead where I know the helmet and HANS kept my head on my shoulders.

I don't want to be the poster child for the effectiveness of the HANS device, but if you had lived my crash I think you might be a believer. Just a guess on my part.

Later, I realized I had a plateau fracture to my left knee that had the clutch pushed in. You can actually see the impact and the energy come to that side of the car as it worked toward my leg. Ouch! I proabably should put this portion of the post onto the other thread that talks about what to do in a crash. Sorry.

I detect that much of the resistence to this series following suit with making HANS mandatory has more to do with the reluctance or the disdain of being told you have to do something. I. E. Freedom of choice. Of course we all know that our racer personalities would never resist or take a stand on anything where we felt someone else was dictating to us, would we?

Why not just make them available to new drivers and anyone else wanting to rent one as oppossed to purchasing one?
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  #124  
Old 09-06-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Anecdotal experience and testimony should not be the source of public health policy. My point is that we simply do not know if the device induces more benefit or harm in the Skip series. We'd like to think that it does what it is intended to do; it may; it may not. I just know that our record without it is pretty good, and I sure see several guys with one side of their head tethered and the other not when they come in the pits and that scares the living hell out of me.
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  #125  
Old 09-06-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Dr Mike:

I was not taking exception to your post. But public health policy?

I concur that one tether is probably not the solution either nor do I assume it is better than none.

If you read the engineering studies published by HANS and other independent research there does seem to be reasonable expectation that there is real benefit. How you accumulate empirical ( sp?) data is beyond me without killing some people. I certainly don't want to be the lab rat on this one.

Respectfully,
Fully tethered.
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  #126  
Old 09-06-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Dr. Mike,

Until your post I've never heard anyone suggest that wearing a HANS device could cause a "shaken baby" syndrome injury. I understand what you're suggesting but I've never heard or seen any anectdotal evidence suggesting or supporting it.

I do know of multiple first hand accounts where the device is perceived to have made an important positive difference restricting range of head motion, with myself being two of those examples, but yes these are public opinions not scientific data.

In my 10 race weekends I've never seen anyone walking around with only one HANS tether engaged or with tethers of great unequal length but I have seen some I thought were equally too long.

The only negative HANS experiences I know of are from people who's body types do not match up well with the belt attachment points on the R/T/s (Most often a height problem) allowing the belts to slide off early versions of the device during driving stints. (Michael Culver and Donald MacDonald are two I know of first hand who have experienced this) For those who have belt slippage as a chronic problem the notion of mandatory HANS usage would certainly seem unfair tourture.

HANS has since modified its design to include a lip or ridge along the outer edges of the chest blades that keep the straps from slipping. If you're already the owner of an older model it is a bit galling to pony up full price twice so the straps will stay put.

In terms of proper fitting... If you're going to wear one, you have to take some responsibilty and care for adjusting it properly.

JP56 probably said it all a bit more succinctly about 6 posts back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Edwards
The issue of the HANS is alot more complicated that most realize. The 1) deceleration of the head with the associated risk of injury inducing stretch, and 2) the HANS induced relative motion of the brain in the skull (similar to "shaken baby" syndrome), and 3) the degree to which each occurs according to the g forces incurred with various forumula racing series, all have impact with regard to benefit and risk. In addition we must take into account the issue of the 4) frequency of improper fitting (and my experience from watching others,and my own, suggests that it is realitively often) and how that might increase the risk of neck twisting and related injury (similar to wringing a chicken's necK). At the end of the day, how many spinal cord injuries related to decelerating injury have we seen in the series? What is it that we are preventing? What risk are we incurring by a piece of equipment that is too often compromising the application of our standard seat belts? I know this is not popular. We would all like to be assured with a simple solution. I do believe that the device may actually have more benefit in very high speed deceleratins than the problems that it might incur. There is medical data suggesting that since its use that the number of concussions have actually gone up - related to "brain shear" - you might actually be better off to stretch you neck a bit more that transmit all that energy to rotating your brain. Who knows? I raced at Mid O this past weekend; I had my HANS with me, but thinking about some of my more recent trauma patients and the nature of their injuries, my difficulty getting the belts to reliably adher to the HANS, the infrequent history of spinal related injuries in Skip racing, I left it in the bag.
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  #127  
Old 09-06-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

I have not seen unequal tethers either. I'm referring to the more common situation when one of the belt straps comes off the HANS. This causes the device to pull more on one side of the head than the other and causes the HANS to potentially rotate with deceleration as the head extends and pulls up on the unrestrained side. In other words the total G force is concentrated more to one side.

I'm not Solomon and I'm the first to say so. I just know that from taking care of a number of trauma cases over the years that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. This thing make work quite well and may make a big difference, particularly in instances where your head is about to be pulled off. But in lower speed decelerations it may actually cause more brain shear, I just don't know. The other thing to keep in mind is that the older guys typically have some cerebral atrophy (trust me, if you're over 50 you can see it on some your CT scans, ask Jim Lowe) and therefore are more at risk for "rotating in the cranial box". I don't know which is worse. I'll just say that I'd encourage less mandates than us all becoming democrats and trying to dictate personal decisions. That having been said Helmets for Motorcycle riders is a proved good thing; seat belts work; roll bars work,,,,,,,etc,,,,,,,,,,,,
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  #128  
Old 09-06-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

The comment about democrats: I mean I just believe in smaller, not larger government and regulation as a general principle. I do believe in some like the Motorcycle helmet law since the taxpayers pay their health bills when they crash, unlike the skip series. Please keep in mind that I don't mean to denigrate democrats, socialist, communists, or others.
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  #129  
Old 09-07-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

I think Dr. Mike's points are very valid and offer a more balanced view of the balance of the HANS device's benefits. Like with many other devices you don't get a benefit without a tradeoff. As a great soccer player put it once: Every advantage has its disadvantage."

If you look at something less controversial like the manadatory helmet, you will also find, that while it offers plenty benefits there are downsides of adding 3 lbs of weight to the top end of your spine. In a head-on crash, the acceleration of the head and spine would be a substantially lower if we still wore padded leather caps or at least small open faced versions like they did up until the 60s (?).

Also I do struggle with the strong claims of many of the accident victims posting here, that HANS saved their lives. The reverse conclusion would be that the crashes in the pre HANS era were less severe, since the number of lives claimed in the series was rather small even then - I have been following it since 99 and nothing comes to mind. So increased crash severity in the HANS era would hint that SB racers are taking higher risks, since they feel safer. This in turn would not increase the overall safety level or manage the risk.

But I believe it is undoubted that in some cases and accident forms HANS reduces the risk of severe injury same like said helmet.

It is also clear that regardless of its overall impact on driver's health HANS is permeating professional and semi professional series increasingly and is virtually a standard requiremend at least on everything that is on the telly.

For SB (not just the RS) the question is now how to deal with a developing standard and I only see two choices from a corporate standpoint.

One is to say, that they have evidence/data or a track record that proves that the typical SB accident health consequences would not have been significantly been impacted regardless if the driver had worn a HANS or not. (I know that many of you do not share this view, but I am just talking about a possible corporate position). Consequently SB could and should not give a recommendation about HANS but leave it up entirely to the drivers. This is pretty much the status quo, I believe.

The second one is to acknowledge the progress in safety equipment and the positive balance HANS has on accident injury levels. But then SB would have to mandate them, like they mandate helmets. And like helmets they could offer them for "free" to racers and students - as mentioned in an earlier post the overall cost impact of 20K$ is pretty benign over a usage span of probably 5 to 8 years.

But there is a clear notion in favor of its benefits by many of the HANS supporters on this site which is backed by the mandate of the professional series and of course personal experiences and beliefs. Based on these views, I would come to the conclusion that at this stage and with this level of permeation of the HANS in racing, SB is running a higher risk if they do not mandate it.

However, the world of facts might still look entirely different, and I cannot express enough admiration to Dr.Mike, who- based on a number of data points and while being in possession of a HANS - decided that it would be better to race without.
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  #130  
Old 09-07-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Helmet laws for motorcycles suck.

When I am on the highway, I wear one. I think that those that do not are fools. But, on less 'hectic' roads, I do not. Instead, I wear a skull cap.

I know the risk, but I also know the reward. Some people think driving a race car is stupid too. You have to balance risk and reward in life. Otherwise, stay in bed.

The government should not dictate that I protect myself. I don't want them telling me I need to wear a sweater in the winter either.

As far as some folk's selfish concern that they will have to 'foot the bill' for my injuries, I suggest the following. Don't mandate the helmet, change the insurance laws. If I'm not wearing one, the bills are mine.
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  #131  
Old 09-07-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

999, I am not talking about motorcycle helmet laws but the mandatory helmet for racing SB cars. The motorcycle helmet discussion has already been exploited, discussed and concluded by MJ Amok 2 pages earlier (with identical findings) - just out of curiousity: a relative of yours?
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  #132  
Old 09-07-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Auto racing is an inherintely dangerous sport. Helmets, racings suits, arm restraints, rollbars and HANS devices make it safer. The bottom line however, is when you get in that car, you're at risk. I've been attending racing events at LRP (and other tracks) for over 50 years now. I've been at more than one event were drivers have died. If you're really so concerned about your well-being and your family's security stop racing!

During my first year with SBRS Tony Monk died in the uphill at LRP. He was considered a driver with better than average skills. I wonder how many current Skippy drivers even know the name or think they could die out there. Just a few years ago a Porsche driver was killed when he backed his 911 into the pit exit wall in the rain. Two years ago a driver died when he was struck at the uphill. During a Busch North race a few years ago a death occured in the pit area when a car hit the guard-rail and sent part of it into the pit area. Were these four deaths worth it? Based on the fact we keep racing, I guess they were!

Maybe we should outlaw smoking and drinking, we know they kill people. How about reducing all speed limits to 25MPH. That will no doubt reduce the 40,000 highway deaths that occur each year in this country. Let's mandate rollbars in all passenger cars. Let's ban airplane travel. Sure it will cost us a fortune, but can you put a price on safety? Where does it end?

Just my $0.04 worth.

OLDMAN
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  #133  
Old 09-07-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

We can wear out our keyboards arguing the merits of freedom of choice and it won't reduce the risk we all take doing this activity we love at all.

Dr. Mike illuminates an issue I thought had been worked through. The legitimate safety divide is between people who have no trouble with the shoulder belts staying fixed on their HANS device and those who can't trust them. I agree with Dr. Mike that this is a serious issue. It's easy for me to advocate mandating the device because I never have a problem and consider Hans usage as easy and reliable as strapping on my shoulder belts. I helped Michael Culver strap into his car at Tremblant in August and was surprised when he returned to the pits with a belt having side stepped the device and he too stopped using it at that point.

This is a legitimate safety issue. The shoulder strap mounting points on the R/T were designed years before the HANS came along and seem to be the culprit here. Apparently the early HANS design also contributes to this issue as its sloping smooth surface did little to hold the belts in place or give them traction when they were in place. The latest design has a ridge down the outer edges that should alleviate the problem (Has anyone with the new design had a continuation of the belt slippage problem?)

I'm repeating myself but for those of us who don't have the belting issue using a HANS is a no brainer. For those who can't trust the belts will stay put... it's a safety liability.
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  #134  
Old 09-07-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

mine has the ridge as well as a non-skid type material applied to it, never had a belt slip.
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  #135  
Old 09-07-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Edwards
The issue of the HANS is alot more complicated that most realize. The 1) deceleration of the head with the associated risk of injury inducing stretch, and 2) the HANS induced relative motion of the brain in the skull (similar to "shaken baby" syndrome), and 3) the degree to which each occurs according to the g forces incurred with various forumula racing series, all have impact with regard to benefit and risk. In addition we must take into account the issue of the 4) frequency of improper fitting (and my experience from watching others,and my own, suggests that it is realitively often) and how that might increase the risk of neck twisting and related injury (similar to wringing a chicken's necK).
Pat, I was mainly refering to Dr. Mike's observations one through three. I am not sure that before his post there have been many hints about a factual discussion like the one he is starting. Most posts are: "HANS saved this that and the other live!" or "It it too expensive" or "I do not want to be forced".

My post puts the freedom of choice aside for moment but deals with the "Tipping Point" and how to deal with it from a corporate point of view. Trust me: if SBRS made HANS mandatory (and supply them foc) there would not be one sinlge individual to seek out a different race series and all the desire for freedom would be gladly traded in.
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  #136  
Old 09-07-2006
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Thumbs up Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

I agree with your last statement completely Martin. If they mandate them and supply them (foc) no one will stomp away in protest and it might attract some who are on the fence. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong but it does seem the belt slippage issue only happens with the older lipless models. If new models are supplied it may be "problem solved".

Somewhere buried in this thread I long ago suggested that cost plays a big part in this decision on all sides because if a HANS cost 20 bucks all helmet manufacturers would simply include one in the purchase price of a new helmet and this thread wouldn't exist. (Except perhaps for the slipping belt issue)

Quote:
Originally Posted by birkmama
Pat, I was mainly refering to Mr. Mike's observations one through three. I am not sure that before his post there have been many hints about a factual discussion like the one he is starting. Most posts are: "HANS saved this that and the other life!" or "It it too expensive" or "I do not want to be forced".

My post puts the freedom of choice aside for moment but delas with the "Tipping Point" and how to deal with it from a corporate point of view. Trust me: if SBRS made HANS mandatory (and supply them foc) there would not be one sinlge individual to seek out a different race series and all the desire for freedom would be gladly traded in.
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  #137  
Old 09-07-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Michael:

Don't knock staying in bed. It can more fun and more dangerous....
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  #138  
Old 09-07-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by LimeRockRacer
Michael:

Don't knock staying in bed. It can more fun and more dangerous....
You've heard, huh? Shit, I thought my secrets were safe!
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  #139  
Old 09-07-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Here is a link from the fia website with some HANS info:
http://www.fiainstitute.com/document...ans%20belts%22
Scroll down to page 4, section 2.5 where there is a description and illustration of a double shoulder belt system. This is an idea to consider for the new car's belt system. It may be a solution to the problem of the straps slipping off the HANS and it also seems like it would be a lot more comfortable for the driver.
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  #140  
Old 09-07-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

That's a very usefull document... Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbell
Here is a link from the fia website with some HANS info:
http://www.fiainstitute.com/document...ans%20belts%22
Scroll down to page 4, section 2.5 where there is a description and illustration of a double shoulder belt system. This is an idea to consider for the new car's belt system. It may be a solution to the problem of the straps slipping off the HANS and it also seems like it would be a lot more comfortable for the driver.
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  #141  
Old 09-12-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

The FIA Institute information m bell provided 4 days ago (thread #139)(http//www.fiainstitute.com/document...ans%20%22) is instructive about correct installation and positioning of the HANS device. The shoulder harness anchor points of the RT-2000 were adjusted a few years ago to be the best possible with that chassis' frame and the new car should offer anchor points even better for shoulder harness positioning vis a vis HANS use. Correct harness positioning for different body heights is critical as descriptions of harness slipping off the HANS yoke identifies a correctable design flaw. The newer HANS with lip on the outside of the yoke may reduce slippage, but Revere and I have never had a shoulder harness slip off and our HANS are 8 years old, smooth on top and without a lip. Fit is important.

Dr. Mike analogized from shaken baby syndrome: Shaken baby syndrome is a type of inflicted traumatic brain injury that happens when a baby is violently shaken. A baby has weak neck muscles and a large, heavy head. Shaking makes the fragile brain bounce back and forth inside the skull and causes bruising, swelling, and bleeding, which can lead to permanent, severe brain damage or death. The characteristic injuries of shaken baby syndrome are subdural hemorrhages (bleeding in the brain), retinal hemorrhages (bleeding in the retina), damage to the spinal cord and neck, and fractures of the ribs and bones. These injuries may not be immediately noticeable. Symptoms of shaken baby syndrome include extreme irritability, lethargy, poor feeding, breathing problems, convulsions, vomiting, and pale or bluish skin. Shaken baby injuries usually occur in children younger than 2 years old, but may be seen in children up to the age of 5. (from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke).

How well this brain injury in babies relates to what occurs in adolescent and adults in racing crashes with or without HANS devices is unknown. After a sudden high G stop, concussion can occur when brain hits the inside of the skull (coup = blow) followed by rebound (counter-coup) against the other side of the skull, with varying degrees of recovery - more often than not complete.

If it comes to it, I prefer James Bond's "shaken but not stirred" martini formula. Basilar skull and cervical fractures have and can be lethal, and are the main injuries HANS is intended to prevent. I do not have and cannot find studies of HANS benefits and would certainly like to read them if others know specific citations. I expect there may be engineering design studies, but as we can all understand, randomized controlled trials with humans crashing are hard to conduct. We've all been hypothesizing (speculating) about HANS benefits and risks based on beliefs rather than knowledge. Similar study design problems occur with regard to risks and benefits of parachutes, and a randomized controlled trial design addressing this issue was proposed in the British Medical Journal (http://www.teamjuicyracing.com/pdf/Parachute.pdf).

Back to HANS in Skippy cars: Testers uniformly (Bobo may be an exception) do not wear them in RT-2000s, but do when racing in series that require them. As role models, if testers wore HANS that would be the most effective way to spread their use. The growing use of HANS has happened without this role modeling. Testers crash at a far lower frequency than we do and can usually ameliorate the end result to some extent better than the rest of us.

I think we're at a point where each must decide what to do each time s/he gets in a race car. I wear my HANS all the time - except when I forgot it once at a school car lapping day at RA and drove, feeling naked at first, then lulled into forgetfullness by the pleasure of the drive. Even with a HANS, bad things can happen to one's head - witness Christina DeMatta's severe injury on the straight between turns 5 and 6 at RA.

Acknowledging uncertainty, I prefer the HANS until evidence convinces me the odds favor not wearing it.

Last edited by cdh; 09-12-2006 at 08:28 AM.
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  #142  
Old 09-18-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Having 'invested' a bit in a couple of off road excursions, including a wall at the Glen in my first (sorta) race, and having witnessed the sobering suspension failure at the bottom of the downhill at Lime Rock this past July, I have invested in a Hans device.

Not withstanding this discussion, I am delighted to loan my Hans to any driver in any session I am not involved in.

Russell Gee
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  #143  
Old 09-18-2006
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Thumbs up Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Great move on both parts Russell. That is getting the Hans, and then offering it to others.
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  #144  
Old 09-21-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

The HANS should be mandatory. It is cheap insurance for saving you life.

Zach
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  #145  
Old 10-07-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

I'm not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV, but it seems to me that someday SBRS will be forced to require HANS devices. Why? To reduce liability it is necessary for any organization to take "all reasonable steps." More and more race series are required HANS and if SBRS is sued someday and they haven't required HANS then a court will determine that SBRS did not take all reasonable steps to ensure adequate safety.

So it will happen whether or not it is a good idea. FWIW, I believe it IS a good idea. I don't drive without mine.
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  #146  
Old 10-07-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

I once again agree 110% - - I gave my $.02 early in this thread but just felt compelled to once again say my piece - - having raced several years in the SCCA sedans without Hans - - and now in SB, I won't get in a race car without my Hans, it's just not worth it to take the chance - - things happen and if the Hans could save my life someday I want to give my self the best chance to race another day.

Tough decision for SB, but other race series are making the choice.

Steve
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  #147  
Old 10-07-2006
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Such are the state of affairs in the U.S. today. As Bernie E said, "in the U.S., you say 'good morning' after noon, and you're in court by the evening.
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  #148  
Old 07-05-2007
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

"Dad, that's a bit cissy, isn't it?" - Stirling Moss in response to his father's insistence that he wear a helmet if he was to race motorcars.
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Old 10-26-2007
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Hello to all,

Yes, I am the Pete Olson mentioned above....I just wanted to put in my two cents in this thread, which I have been a member of for a while [go figure, I went to skippy before for the 3 day and 2 day and a few races and am actually a memeber of teamjuicyracing]....

- To Ari and the other folks above who had no idea i was on this forum:

- Despite the bashing, I do actually agree with many of your comments, I had someone before doing PR for me, a friend of mine who could do good web design and he took it upon himself to give some 'literary latitude' to the articles he wrote about my racing....this has since been changed, as I did actually spend the 2 hours it took to learn frontpage and now can edit my own website....I am sorry for the junk that was on there before and i admit, i was ticked off at first reading these comments about me but nonetheless, i was soon looking back through my website at the old press releases [which i had never read much, to be honest] and edited the ^$%$% out of them to take out the nonsense that was pervasive throughout, and realized quite quickly how badly some of that stuff read.

-As for the Racing for Children program that I do in coordination with the Christian Childrens Fund, I receive absolutely no monetary benefit from it, and at the time I made it I had no idea that there were a gazillion 'Racing for Kids' etc programs that many racers have going....I simply had sponsored a few children through CCF for about 8 years before that, and thought that it would be a good idea to advertise them for free to help them out [I myself am adopted]. The program is quite simple, to advertise CCF in any races I run in exchange for nothing but publicity for them, I take the sponsorship photos and approach periodicals in the area to give them the spiel and actually it turned out to be a win-win for both CCF and myself as not only does it advertise them, but it helps my gain sponsorship via the publicity of the program.
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  #150  
Old 10-26-2007
PeteOlson PeteOlson is offline
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

oops, sorry about the 3 repeated posts, guys, my internet connection here in Ontario stinks so I clicked on it a few times and voila...3 posts of the same thing....anyhow: (admin. note - dupe posts deleted)

-As for the jibes about my racing ability, I would never be one to say 'yeah, i could have won this or that race', that is what whiners say after the race is done...but when i went to limerock i was doing pretty well in practice, and some guy told me i would have no problem in winning the sportsman group, but then i smashed the back of the car [a $5k+ accident] during practice on Thursday, and had to call the folks to get an instant loan for the damage deposit. my dad told me that he would do it, but that if i crashed again that weekend, that was it for his financial racing support. during the weekend i slowed it down in that whole back section of limerock, but i was happy enough to get 4th as i didn't spend any more money and at the time couldn't afford to. that was my 7th race in a formula car, and since then i am happy to say i have improved considerably and yesterday won the 2007 Bridgestone MTP F2000 Championship with 5 poles, 4 wins, two 2nds and one 3rd out of 7 races for our season. i have also via Bridgestone been racing and working on F2000s full-time, and i can tell you that its a great thing to actually know all there is to know about a racecar instead of just driving it.

Last edited by cdh; 10-27-2007 at 08:23 AM.
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