Biomechanical Principles of Racecar Seat Design for Side Impact Protection 2004-01-3515
Recent developments in seat design for racecar drivers have proven to be very effective in minimizing injuries in side impacts. The features of the seats that present significant improvements over previous concepts are based on biomechanical principles that were learned from crash recorder based investigations of Indy car crashes. Insights gained from these studies led to an understanding of critical factors that provide effective support and protection of the driver in a high-severity side impact crash. Transferring these concepts from single seat chassis cars to stock car and sports car seats has led to significant improvements in driver side impact protection. The paper will describe these principles, present sled test performance data showing the benefits of proper seat design and will give examples of current commercially available seat designs for stock car and sports car racing.