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Head and neck restraints, what are the choices?

Old 11-17-04, 10:37 PM
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Arrow Head and neck restraints, what are the choices?

I am going to start this thread, the intention is for this to be an informative/stickied thread on the choices available, their pros, and cons, and where to purchase them.

Last edited by DamonB; 11-18-04 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 11-17-04, 10:44 PM
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here is the Hutchens device, as worn by Ernhardt Jr (according to Autoweek). This is one of many choices, but it is an economical one. Obviously Ernhardt is not concerned with cost, and may have considerable professional insight in making his choice. Here is one source for it. http://www.tcracecars.com/Merchant2/..._Code=HUT+1000
Attached Thumbnails Head and neck restraints, what are the choices?-hutchins_big.jpg  
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Old 11-17-04, 10:50 PM
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here is a link to an article on the Hutchens device with their test data. It is cusory in nature.
http://www.circletrack.com/techarticles/90499/
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Old 11-17-04, 10:53 PM
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Here is a sort commentary on drilling helmets, and a link to a site with the proper drilling locations for various helmets.
http://www.circletrack.com/techartic...99/index1.html
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Old 11-17-04, 10:55 PM
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next is the Isaac device.
Attached Thumbnails Head and neck restraints, what are the choices?-isaac-device.jpg  
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Old 11-17-04, 10:55 PM
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Here is a link to there site, complete with links to their test data.
http://www.isaacdirect.com/#
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Old 11-17-04, 11:01 PM
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here is Isaacs comparison chart. You will notice eah company has found a test that they perform well at. Notice the poor performance of the Hutchens in this test was created putting 2" of slack in the harness(possible I suppose), who would be so inattentive, that would be like being able to pus your fist through your lap belt LOL
Attached Thumbnails Head and neck restraints, what are the choices?-chart2-restraint-comparison-pro-isaac.gif  
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Old 11-17-04, 11:12 PM
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Another link witha variety of Nascar related links. I think the Hutchens is popular due to its less restrictive nature, not neccessarily that it is superior. http://jayski.thatsracin.com/pages/restraint.htm
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Old 11-17-04, 11:16 PM
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So far, I question whether it is possible to attach the Isaac device below Snells "test line". This is a line below which drilling a hole has been deemed by Snell not to effect the safety of the helmet in an impact. I will call Isaac to determine if that is true.
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Old 11-17-04, 11:24 PM
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some more links to most manufacturers. I am encouraged that properly installed, and worn, it appears that the Hutchens device may do the job at a price I can afford. The Hans has come down in price considerably, with a current price of 865.00 for the model most of us would use(model 20) http://www.roadsters.com/safety/#Neck

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Old 11-17-04, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Carl Byck
here is the Hutchens device, as worn by Ernhardt Jr (according to Autoweek). This is one of many choices, but it is an economical one. Obviously Ernhardt is not concerned with cost, and may have considerable professional insight in making his choice. Here is one source for it. http://www.tcracecars.com/Merchant2/..._Code=HUT+1000
You may be right but in the same vain Tony Stewart isn't concerned with cost and has been quoted as saying that his Hutcheons has been adjusted loosely enough to give him the free range of movement of his head that he wants that it may no longer be of any use in a crash. I wouldn't base my decision on one driver's opinion. It's obvious Jr.'s old man wasn't smart enough to have belts properly installed in his car. Why is the little one any smarter?

Here's a site with links to all the devices I've heard of and more.

http://jayski.thatsracin.com/pages/restraint.htm

HANS IMO is the way to go. It is the most tested, well engineered of the group. The CART of old was certainly on the forefront of safety research. Lightyears ahead of NASCAR. They helped bring the HANS to light. Anything that Dr. Trammel bought off on I am confident in. The HANS is also mandated in F1. Talk about price not being an object. The HANS is the hands down winner in frontal impact testing. It is not as effective in lateral impacts. But again IMO lateral impact should be controlled by the seat and/or netting that is properly installed.
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Old 11-17-04, 11:27 PM
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here is the G Force piece, it appears it will conform to Snells test lines, but is only for use with a limited number of G Force helmets.
Attached Thumbnails Head and neck restraints, what are the choices?-srs1_image1-g-force-restraint.gif  
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Old 11-17-04, 11:27 PM
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BTW, the HANS has come down in price considerably. It's now $865 down from the $1200-1500 tag a few years ago.
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Old 11-17-04, 11:36 PM
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Beat me to it (price wise)

I just edited my above post to reflect the new cost per their website. I think either is a good choice, and both are a great investment. As for the others, I will continue to research, but I'll go with one of the devices approved by major sanctioning bodies. Carl
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Old 11-17-04, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by C. Ludwig
You may be right but in the same vain Tony Stewart isn't concerned with cost and has been quoted as saying that his Hutcheons has been adjusted loosely enough to give him the free range of movement of his head that he wants that it may no longer be of any use in a crash. I wouldn't base my decision on one driver's opinion. It's obvious Jr.'s old man wasn't smart enough to have belts properly installed in his car. Why is the little one any smarter?

Here's a site with links to all the devices I've heard of and more.

http://jayski.thatsracin.com/pages/restraint.htm

HANS IMO is the way to go. It is the most tested, well engineered of the group. The CART of old was certainly on the forefront of safety research. Lightyears ahead of NASCAR. They helped bring the HANS to light. Anything that Dr. Trammel bought off on I am confident in. The HANS is also mandated in F1. Talk about price not being an object. The HANS is the hands down winner in frontal impact testing. It is not as effective in lateral impacts. But again IMO lateral impact should be controlled by the seat and/or netting that is properly installed.
The design of the Hans for a formula car is very different from the one we would use, not to mention it's ~1200.00. I hope this thread will serve as a resource, with as many facts, and as little debate as makes sense. Carl
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Old 11-18-04, 07:03 AM
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I think it was in SCCA's Sportscar or perhaps Racecar Engineering magazine that did an article in the past year or so about head and neck restraints. I'll do my best to find it.

Long story short they had a lab test everything on the market and the HANS device was (literally) head and shoulders above any other choice. All the other offerings are better than nothing but none of them begin to even approach the HANS in performance. What I took from it is that you buy a HANS to actually protect you, you buy something else for purely psychological benefit.

I know the HANS is many times more expensive but in my mind it's the only thing I would buy. The strap on devices have especially large problems when the motion of the head is in any direction other then straight towards the front, not to mention they allow too much movement of the head before arresting it. The old joke applies: Would you rather I punch you from here (fist 6" inches from you) or here (fist drawn completely back)?

**Checking my back issues of Sportscar. I think the article testing 8 different head and neck restraints was from March 2004.**

Last edited by DamonB; 11-18-04 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 11-18-04, 07:21 AM
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HANS testing from the SAE:

www.motorsportsengineering.sae.org/ motorsports/technology/hanssamp.pdf

Last edited by DamonB; 11-18-04 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 11-18-04, 11:08 AM
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I am sure we all want the best protection available, that said, if there are legitimate good alternatives to the Hans Device, I'd like to know. At this point, I have to say that it is critical, that when evaluating these systems for yourself, that you anylise the balance of the safety system used in the test, and compare that to what you plan to use. For example, the D-Cel(Improved Hutchens) device recomends, and is tested with a 6 point harness, and the manufacturer is firm in their statement that a 6 point is required for full protection. I have not finished reading the Hans device info, but it is important to mention that the entire restraint sytem being used is a large factor in the performance of each device. Most of these systems go far beyond what most of us have installed in our cars. How many of us have 3" thick padding surrounding our helmets, how many have seats with intergal head and rib protection? All of the devices are being tested under ideal conditions with far more protection than most of us have presently.
What would be particularly interesting/pertinent/and most valuable to the "part time" racing community would be an evaluation of these devices with a more commonly used seat, like a Sparco EVO, and a 5 point harness. This is what alot of us are using, and so far i have seen no data on how the various devises perform in this less than ideal set-up.
Here is a "pro" D-Cel article, and tests by the inventor of that device. http://www.hutchensdevice.com/news/H...Restraint.html
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Old 11-18-04, 11:29 PM
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almost every driver that has driven for me uses the HANS device. Only one used the hutchens.
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Old 11-19-04, 09:43 AM
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I personally wear an ISAAC, mostly because I found a used one for about half price. I couldn't decide between it or the HANS, but finding a cheap one sealed the deal.

that said I will probably get a HANS within the next year or two. Swapping the ISAAC in and out for enduro's is a PITA, and I hope to get into alot more endurance racing next year. other then that I've been perfectly happy with the ISAAC, but I've never tested it in a crash.
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Old 11-22-04, 08:32 AM
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Hi,

I personally use the HANS, there are two versions, the pro and the economy, the pro is all carbon fibre, the economy is fiberglass core with carbon wrap. Both meet the same strength requirements, however the economy version is 1/2lb. heavier. Because the HANS is fixed, unlike my helmet, I did not feel the weight penalty was an issue and opted for the economy model as the safety provided is equal. After making my decision I received the Racecar Engineering issue comparing the devices and fortunately confrimed that my decision to go with the HANS device was the correct one. It was the only device that reduced loading below the fatality point at high speed frontal impacts. Installation took about 1/2 hour and was very simple. Initial testing with the HANS provided no discomfort or interference, once I was on the track I had forgotten it was there.

Andrew
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Old 11-22-04, 05:05 PM
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Damon and C. Ludwig are right on. the HANS is by far the best choice for protection and tested results. The other devices mentioned all require them to be adjusted and setup everytime it is removed. This is not a problem for a pro driver with support staff. the average non pro racer is in and out of his car two to three times in a day and if he/she removes their driving suit each time then the Hutchens or d-cell will need to be adjusted each time you get geared up. they can be put on easy enough but the directions all require exact placement for it to be effective. the HANS is a one time setup. Lastly one item that is still neglected(but mentioned by C.) is side impact protection. This is a more likely killer for amatuers than the head on impact. I recommend everyone to upgrade their seat and install a "sprint car" style window net on the drivers right side. I have lost a good friend to a minor side impact crash that took his life because he had neither.
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Old 11-23-04, 12:17 PM
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I have a Kirkey seat, I wonder how effective the additional chest, and head supports are? My guess is better than nothing, maybe i can reinforce them. The reason side impacts are so dangerous is the same reason why boxers use a Crooscut as a knockout punch. I watched a discover channel speciall, what happens, is that the weakest part of the actual brain structure is the matter that connects the two lobes, stretch that, and you pass out, tear it, and you can be killed. Sorry to hear about your friend. I have been looking at some of the OMP mostrosities with all the extra supports, but now I understand why they are so important. I may talk to a welder, about reinforcing the Kirkey head restraints as they seem to flex to much on their own. My concern is that they should absorb energy, while confining your movemebnt, finding thatb balance is beyond the scope of anything we can do. I will do some reading on side impacts, and see what I can learn to add to this thread. Tim, I know the seat you like, but i believe they are ~1000.00 a piece or so. Carl
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Old 11-23-04, 12:56 PM
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Everything Ive read also points to the HANS. When I get back to racing, Im buying one. For me its not a matter of cost. Its my life, and its worth protecting, or I wont race. If they were all in some sort of system of rating like other equiptment and all passed the tests, then my choice might be more cost driven.

My only concerns regarding the HANS and all this extra seat bracing,padding, nets is the impediment to egress in an emergency (read: fire). Fire really scares me. Thats also why I have a firebottle system going in the car before I go back on track.
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Old 11-23-04, 01:36 PM
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