The Medical Aspects of Driver Protection Systems and Devices Developed Through Automobile Racing 700660
This three-part paper deals with the medical aspects of driver protection in automobile racing. Part one presents the history of car safety equipment beginning with the development of helmets, belts, roll bars, and other devices to protect competition drivers. This paper describes the evolution from purely optional to mandatory equipment and how their design and accident records have contributed to increased safety in passenger cars. The investigation of injuries sustained in crash, fire, and loss of control caused by road hazards have contributed to the many improvements discussed here, almost all of which are readily adaptable to passenger car models.
The second part presents a summary of the influence of racing on the design, testing and performance standards for protective headgear. The significance is indicated of applying basic principles of mechanics and dynamic systems testing to all fields in which head impact is a potential hazard.
Part three states that standard football helmets do not afford the protective qualities possible under the present state-of-the-art of helmet manufacturing. Deficiencies are pointed out. Experience with a fiberglass shell and nonresilient liner as used in auto racing is related. Many improvements were found over the standard football helmet, not only in greater protection but also in increased comfort.