Sled Test Evaluation of Racecar Head/Neck Restraints 2002-01-3304
Recent action by some racecar sanctioning bodies making head/neck restraint use mandatory for competitors has resulted in a number of methods attempting to provide head/neck restraint. This paper evaluates the performance of a number of commercially available head/neck restraint systems using a stock car seating configuration and a realistic stock car crash pulse. The tests were conducted at an impact angle of 30 degrees to the right, with a midsize male Hybrid III anthropomorphic test device (ATD) modified for racecar crash testing. A six-point latch and link racing harness restrained the ATD. The goal of the tests was to examine the performance of the head/neck restraint without the influence of the seat or steering wheel.
Three head/neck restraint systems were tested using a sled pulse with a 35 mph (56 km/h) velocity change and 50G peak deceleration. Three tests with three samples of each system were performed to assess repeatability. The systems tested were the HANS®, the Hutchens device, and the D-CEL device. Head accelerations, neck loads and moments were analyzed to provide a comparison of the various systems ability to control head dynamics. Kinematic control of the head was also determined from analysis of the high-speed video recordings to obtain forward head excursion.
The results of the tests on each device are presented in absolute terms, compared to baseline tests (no head/neck restraint) and normalized to the best performing device.