Biomechanical Evaluation and Driver Experience with the Head and Neck Support 942466
Auto and boat racers suffer fatigue and injury from loading of their necks. While racing, a driver's neck often becomes fatigued because it must support the weight of the head and helmet. In crashes, extreme motions of a driver's unrestrained head relative to the restrained torso cause excessive loads in the driver's neck. These neck loads between the head and torso can cause severe or fatal injuries such as spinal dislocations and basilar skull fractures.
A new type of head and neck support has been developed that restrains the driver's head relative to their torso to reduce undesirable head motions and neck loads that cause fatigue and injury.
This paper describes recent work, using computer crash simulations, crash dummy tests, and driver experiences, to better understand head and neck injury in racing and to evaluate the performance of a new head and neck support.