What Does A Head & Neck Restraint Do?

The most common fatal racing injury is the basilar skull fracture. Non-fatal head and neck injuries are also the biggest reason why a driver may miss days or weeks of works. Well design head & neck restraints help to protect against these injuries.

In a crash, a driver’s torso is restrained by their multi point harness. Without a head & neck restraint, their head/helmet is free to whip and injuries can occur. If the whipping exceeds certain limits, the base of the skull breaks, severing the arteries that supply the brain, and the driving bleeds to death.

The best head & neck restraints also limit the amount of distance a user’s head/helmet moved in an impact as hitting something during an incident can cause additional injuries

Fatal injuries can happen at any speed if the crash is severe enough. Dale Earnhardt died of a basilar skull fracture yet hit the wall at only 43 mph. He was not wearing a head & neck restraint. In contrast, Ritchie Hearn hit the wall at over 200 mph. His only injury was a broken foot – and he credits the HANS Device with saving his life.

HANS® Device Information

It’s easy to find the right HANS® Device for you. The angle of your seatback should match the HANS® device for your comfort and safety. Here are the different angle options:


• Fits some Sprint cars.
• If you sit very upright and cannot get comfortable with the Model 20, a Model 10 is your best alternative.


• Fits all sedans including NASCAR, Sprint, Midget, Quarter Midget, Drag, Modified, Bandolero and similar. All sportscars including Porsche, BMW, Corvette, Honda, Viper etc. All Panoz Racing Series cars. Marine applications including UIM and Drag Boats.
• Drivers over 200 lbs. may find a Model 30 more comfortable in vehicles like those listed above.


• Fits Formula Mazda, Atlantic, Infiniti Pro, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, Barber Dodge, IndyCars, C/D Sports Racer, Formula 1 and similar.


As the SFI Foundation has recently announced a recertification requirement for Head and Neck Restraints, at HANS Performance Products we want to answer as many questions as possible for our dealers about how this new regulation will work.

Starting Jan. 1, 2012, HNR’s must be recertified every five years. This means that during 2012, competitors who want to use a HANS Device with a date of original certification in 2006 or earlier must have their device recertified. Those who have a HANS Device with a date of original certification in 2007, must be recertified according to the month on the SFI sticker. For example, a device with an original certification of June 2007 would expire in June 2012.

The procedure outlined by SFI states, in part, “Inspection must be done by the original manufacturer only, and not their authorized resellers or dealers.” Devices passing the inspection will receive a new SFI 38.1 conformance label marked with the inspection date.

HANS Performance Products will continue to recertify the HANS Device for a $15 fee (shipping is paid by the customer).

At HPP, we learn a great deal of information about our product when we see a HANS Device that’s been used in competition for several years. It is rare that a device does not pass the recertification inspection. But we regularly see devices that need replacement rubber on the legs or have tethers that are more than five years old and therefore need to be replaced. If we need to replace the rubber or tethers, customers will be charged for these items at the standard price.

We appreciate the help our dealers can give us by communicating with customers about this new regulation and how it will work. Please contact me if you have further questions. Here are a few other details to be aware of:

Competitors may use an FIA certified Head and Neck Restraint at an FIA event in the U.S. without meeting the SFI’s recertification requirement. But events not on the FIA sporting calendar and held in the U.S. will require an SFI 38.1 sticker for any device 5 years or older.

Tethers for the HANS Device are manufactured from polyester, which gives them a longer span of use when compared to other material such as nylon. HPP recommends changing tethers every five years.

Competitors should inspect the HANS Device and tethers after any impact where the device comes into use. It’s likely that the tethers should be replaced.

Thank you,
Gary Milgrom
HANS Performance Products