SCORE Journal Issue 9 - 2016

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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Page 15 of 97

SCORE INTERNATIONAL DRIVER SAFETY WORKSHOP were really about common sense issues, like not wearing flammable street clothing under a fire suit. It might seem like a no-brainer, but Trammell insisted that some of those new to motorsports don't understand that the decisions they make can be a matter of life and death in certain emergency situations. HANS DEVICES AND MORE Former NASCAR Senior Director Tom Gideon took the crowd through a history of safety equipment, dating back to the early days of NASCAR. Gideon came to NASCAR in 2009 to develop their in- house safety program, and he previously served at General Motors as the safety manager for the GM Racing division. "Everything in safety really points to restraint," Gideon said. "In the early days, restraints would stop the body, but not the head. And that alone causes fractures at the base of the head." Gideon made the HANS neck restraint a point of topic in his discussion. Originally invented by Jim Downing and Dr. Bob Hubbard, Gideon believes that incidents and fatal injuries, like Dale Earnhardt's terrible accident in NASCAR, could have been prevented had the HANS device been used. Gideon also spoke in detail about the benefits of five, six and even seven-point seat harnesses and explained what they do at the point of impact. The idea behind harnesses is to stop the movement of a driver and navigator immediately, never allowing the body to move in a crash. While that's good for the body, the neck and head still move. To better illustrate the point, Gideon showed an artist's rendering of what happens to the head and neck in a crash, and immediately people in the audience understood the message he was delivering. Here's a link to the Car and Driver story that Gideon referenced (http://www. the-physics-of-how-the-hans- device-saves-lives-feature). "We found that what happens with the HANS device is that it keeps your head from going forward in a front 45-degree impact, and it saves lives," Gideon said. The Car and Driver article that he cited also pointed out that the HANS device reduces neck tension by 81 percent, shear by 72 percent, and the total neck load by 78 percent. Gideon touched on the need for side impact netting to keep the body from moving laterally in the race car because the HANS device will only help you from a 45-degree front impact. The stories were sobering and now that the HANS devices are relatively inexpensive, surely more desert racers will be considering them for future races. PIT SAFETY AND NORMAN'S FINAL WORDS Mike Hurst of SFI Safety Foundation got a huge round of applause for his talk about counterfeit safety equipment on the black market and ways to avoid being ripped off by unscrupulous dealers online. SCORE's Fire Safety and General Safety technician Art Savedra took us through a heartbreaking personal story of his own accident that left him scarred for life. Savedra reminded the audience of the need to wear fire suits and to be aware of how to treat burns. "Fire will kill you," Savedra said. Norman had the last word about safety and the changes ahead at SCORE. "We are trying to save lives," said Norman. "At races, there can be problems, but without doing something like this, nothing is going to change. We are creating videos, articles, and seminars about safety and will continue to produce these things to try to make a difference." "We are considering making head and neck restraints mandatory, but we don't know yet on how we will handle the safety regulations for motorcycle classes. For now, the driver's meetings before each race will be 100 percent about safety issues," Norman added. "We have to figure out how to get people to show up to these safety workshops, or to make sure we get people's attention through our new smartphone app, website, and magazine," said Norman. Changes being made at SCORE are definitely making a difference for those involved, and the numbers of race-related incidents are on the decline. As the season progresses SJ will be bringing you more information about safety in future issues. SJ 016 SCORE JOURNAL

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