A HANS device (head and neck support) is a U-shaped safety harness for motorsports that reduces the chances of its wearer experiencing a basilar skull fracture in the event of a car crash.
The device works by preventing the head from moving forward violently in a crash, which is often the cause of the aforementioned injury. This is made possible by tethering the helmet to the HANS device itself using an anchor on the left and right sides of the helmet. In the event of a vehicle's sudden deceleration, the head of a driver who's not using a HANS device is thrown forward violently while the body remains strapped to the seat, thereby causing what could be a fatal injury. With the HANS device, however, the position of the head is kept fixed relative to the body and the neck's movement isn't restricted.
The deaths of a number of race car drivers have been attributed to basilar skull fractures, like Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger in Formula 1, Dale Earnhardt in NASCAR, and our very own Jovy Marcelo in Champ Car racing. It's these skull fractures that convinced numerous motorsport bodies, particularly the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, to mandate the use of HANS device in competition.
Now, watch the video below, particularly when the car crashes, to see how a car’s sudden stop affects the driver who’s not wearing a HANS device, as well as his HANS-device-equipped co-driver. It just might convince you to wear a HANS device even for your daily commute.
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