How Important Is the Helmet?

The helmet is one of the most crucial equipment parts of the race car driver’s wear. It is a vital accessory that doesn’t only complete the entire uniform of the driver but can also save the driver’s life. The head is one of the most vulnerable parts of the body that can get injured in case of a car crash on the track. Specialists, scientists, and designers have worked tirelessly over the past couple of decades to create state-of-the-art helmets that look great and protect your head from any possible injuries. Are you looking for excellent quality helmets? Find the best one that suits you. If you want to learn more about helmets, continue reading this article. 

If you are a professional race car driver or an enthusiast in this fascinating sport, then you know how crucial the helmet is. The risk of severe burns from the car, regardless, if whether it’s fueled, or not, happens only in a situation when the driver cannot run away from the car soon enough. That’s what happened to the world champion – race car driver, Niki Lauda at the German Grand Prix in Nurburgring. That’s the accident that left him scared for life.  He crashed and barely escaped the car. 

However, you might find it interesting to know, that the rate of accidents on the track that lead to more severe injuries is about 25% which is higher than any other sport.

That’s why the helmet is a very vital protective headgear) worn by drivers is mandatory on the track. Motor racing and sports car racing are dangerous sports.

According to a recent study from Australia, motor racing may be the highest among all sports with the most head injuries. Of course, they are also the most thrilling. At Westwood Racing Supplies, you will find the best and safest racing car helmet options on the market. 

Another study conducted between 1996 and 2000 by the Fuji Toranomon Orthopedic Hospital in Shizuoka also stated that only a tiny percentage of the injuries are to the head or surrounding areas. Sudden injuries to the head can occur if the driver loses control of the car at very high speeds or due to rough terrain on the track.

The History of the Helmet

In the post-war period, people were concerned about head injuries during car racing, and the efforts to design a good helmet began. Some race drivers in the 1920s and 1930s wore football or fire helmets because they offered good protection, compared to the standard racing hats that were offered then. Racers began using the hard-shell helmet in the 1930s.

By the 1950s, helmets were considered essential for drivers in auto racing and even Formula One made all metal helmets mandatory for drivers. Bell Sports developed the first mass-produced racing helmets for sports cars in 1954. Snell Memorial Foundation developed the first auto racing helmet standards in 1959. Those standards are set by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile and are used in Grand Prix racing.

An interesting fact is that NASCAR did not make full-face helmets mandatory until after Dale Earnhardt died in 2001.

And even though helmets today are mandatory. The technology and the safety requirements have improved tremendously and continue to develop, to make the driving experience at higher speeds safer. If you are looking for the highest quality helmets, check out Westwood Racing Supplies.

The Helmet Safety Council of America developed a standard for a racing car helmet in the 1970s, as well. Now it only provides Department of Transportation certification, which does not certify racing car helmets.

Today racing helmets are common standard equipment. Improvements in their design, durability, and ability to withstand the increase of power and speed of the racing car, including fireproofing, are constantly developing.  The most recent advancement is the “flexible links” so that the head doesn’t snap in case of a crash. 

Helmets today can protect the head and the neck from injuries. Helmets are a vital part of the race car driver’s equipment. They are extremely durable. When you buy a helmet, be sure to check that it is tailored according to the latest standards and meets all the necessary requirements. The proper helmet will take away any worry from your safety and allow you to feel comfortable during your exciting driver’s experience. 

In Conclusion…

In the early 20s and 30s of the 20th century, some sports car drivers used football helmets instead of proper sports car gear. However, at that time, people began to understand the necessity of helmets in sports car driving. It was then that the sport was still developing. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the hard-shell sports car driver helmet was specifically designed for motor races. After that, manufacturers began developing metal helmets. They soon began mandatory for Formula One.

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