Closed face helmets

Southwest Montana SCCA discussions for the 2004 season.
User avatar
fastneons
Overlord
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 3:54 pm
Location: Livingston, Mt

Closed face helmets

Postby fastneons » Thu Nov 18, 2004 7:28 am

I don't know if anyone noticed this, but SCCA is suggesting that anyone with an airbag not use a closed face helmet. It is their beleif that it raises the risk of breaking a participants jaw in the event of airbag deployment. They are even talking about writing a rule in, and it is relevent to all levels of competition. Unfortunately I do not have a link to the bulletin, but maybe our president does.

BTW, how did the meeting go. Sorry I couldn't be there.
2002 Porsche 911....almost as fast as an srt4

User avatar
JoeE
Drover
Posts: 1423
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 11:24 am
Location: Bozeman
Contact:

Postby JoeE » Thu Nov 18, 2004 9:14 am

"It has been brought to the attention of SCCA Technical Services that the use of full-face or closed-face helmets while driving vehicles with active
airbag restraint systems may result in injuries in the event of a crash that
deploys the airbag. Because of the location of the steering wheel relative to a driver's position, the airbag axis is on a level with the driver's chin. In a crash with airbag deployment, contact with the chin area of a full-face helmet can be so powerful that the risk of fractures to the jaw cannot be
ruled out. (Hubert Gramling, FIA Institute, FT3/AF, 18.5.1999). This applies
to vehicle that may be used in Solo, RallyCross, High Performance Car Control Clinics, etc.
Therefore, it is highly recommended that full-face helmets not be used in
vehicles with functional airbag systems. Potentially more restrictive
language is currently being considered for 2005, which could appear in an early 2005 issue of FasTrack. If you have any questions, please contact the SCCA at (800) 770-2055."
Joe
1991 911 grey goober

User avatar
JoeE
Drover
Posts: 1423
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 11:24 am
Location: Bozeman
Contact:

Postby JoeE » Thu Nov 18, 2004 9:24 am

This concerns me for two reasons.
One, I am thinking of switching to a full face helmet, its on my Christmas list, and I have one car with an airbag, and one without.
But the main concern I have is a logistical one. If SCCA mandates that full face helmets cannot be used in cars with airbags, we as event officials would have to know if each car that is occupied by a driver and/or passenger with full face helmets on has active airbags. I have noticed that most of our participants use some sort of full face helmet.
So when a car comes up to the line the starter would have to check for approved helmets (With a sticker), check for seatbelts, check for wristbands, and then if either the driver or passenger is wearing a full face helmet, somehow determine if the car has airbags or not, and whether those airbags are active. I suppose if there is a rule made, we could have some decals made that say "Car is airbag equiped, no full face helmets" or something like that.

There has been some discussion about the helmet danger on a VW forum I watch, the various points are interesting.
http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1690037
Joe
1991 911 grey goober

User avatar
WD40
Lord
Posts: 860
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2004 5:01 pm
Location: Helena, MT
Contact:

Postby WD40 » Fri Nov 19, 2004 4:01 pm

So when a car comes up to the line the starter would have to check for approved helmets
You already check the helmets in Tech don't you?
Easy time to look for airbags too.

But.....what about SOLO-1, or On Track events?
Those have always required full face helmets.
WD40 Reverend GripShift
'04 SVT Focus 3-Door
My SuperMotors Site

User avatar
JoeE
Drover
Posts: 1423
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 11:24 am
Location: Bozeman
Contact:

Postby JoeE » Fri Nov 19, 2004 5:19 pm

You already check the helmets in Tech don't you?

The helmet is inspected in tech, but the starter should check to be sure the helmet being used has been teched. It would be pretty easy for a DOT or a BMX helmet to slip by if not checked for a sticker.
I really hope the SSC and SEB will drop this, but if they don't I have a feeling in many cases we will be taking the word of the car owner that airbags are deactivated. Of course there are a lot of things we take on the owner's word...
Joe
1991 911 grey goober

User avatar
rkaiser
Overlord
Posts: 2368
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 7:21 pm
Location: Bozeman
Contact:

Postby rkaiser » Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:35 pm

Here is the text from the official bulletin. I was going to post it as a pdf but this is easier.

Participant Bulletin
DATE: November 16, 2004
FROM: National Staff
TO: All Participants
SUBJECT: Airbag Advisory

It has been brought to the attention of SCCA Technical Services that the use of full-face or closed-face helmets while driving vehicles with active airbag restraint systems may result in injuries in the event of a crash that deploys the airbag. Because of the location of the steering wheel relative to a driver’s position, the airbag axis is on a level with the driver’s chin. In a crash with airbag deployment, contact with the chin area of a full-face helmet can be so powerful “that the risk of fractures to the jaw cannot be ruled out“ (Hubert Gramling, FIA Institute, FT3/AF, 18.5.1999). This applies to vehicle that may be used in Solo, RallyCross, High Performance Car Control Clinics, etc.

Therefore, it is highly recommended that full-face helmets not be used in vehicles with functional airbag systems. Potentially more restrictive language is currently being considered for 2005, which could appear in an early 2005 issue of FasTrack. If you have any questions, please contact the SCCA at (800) 770-2055.
Russ

1995 Escort Cosworth - a little less of a headache
2013 Subaru STI - RPM Speedwagon


Return to “Autocross 2004”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest