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The HANS is the best available in-car protection against basilar skull fracture and its corollary, shear forces and hyperextension of the neck. The HANS is available now and should be used.

However, another driver protection concept, the Driver Capsule, claims to extend the benefits of the HANS into another dimension of impact velocity. (See also the Fitch Basic Driver Capsule)

The objective is survivability without serious injury in impacts at 100 MPH. The Driver Capsule is a trough-like seat incorporating a hinged seatback that insures that the driver's helmet and torso move in unison at a rate regulated by a reel anchored to the chassis.

The elimination of shear forces and hyperextension of the neck has long been a preoccupation of researchers. A principal feature distinguishing the Driver Capsule from the HANS is the absolute security of the neck. The essential feature is the lock on the relative location of the head and shoulders. The helmet is tethered to, and the shoulder straps are anchored to, the seatback, insuring that they move together as a unit. With the neck between them, no shear forces or hyperextension of the neck is possible.

Protection against basilar skull fracture and hyperextension of the neck is unique to this design by virtue of the novel hinged seatback. The control of a life-threatening level of G's is achieved by the regulation of the rate of forward travel of the hinged seatback by an inertia reel.The Driver Capsule leaves the driver unencumbered upon entering the car and fastening his harness in the normal way. When a driver gets in his car, buckles his harness and attaches the tether to his helmet, all the features of the Capsule are fully functional. There is nothing new, unfamiliar or cumbersome to which the driver must adapt.

Copyright ©2016 by Race Safety, Inc. Portions copyright John Fitch. All Rights Reserved.