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10 Driver Protection Safety Tips You Should Know

Updated: Nov 19, 2019

1. Driver Suits Buy You Time

  • The real value of your suit is to keep out the heat of a fire, and away from your skin.

  • The thicker (more layers) of insulation it has, the more seconds of protection you have before your skin burns.

  • Don’t sew patches on your suit! The stitching compresses the effective thickness of the insulation layer and creates hot spots.



2. Don’t Wear These Under Your Driver Suit

  • Synthetic nylon T Shirts can melt into your skin, even without direct fire exposure.

  • Anything screen-printed on a T Shirt will more quickly transfer heat to your skin and can “brand” you. The US Army learned this and changed their regs.

  • Anything metal transfers heat very quickly, presenting a local burn danger. This includes underwires in woman’s bras. Stand 21 makes an all-nomex bra.


3. Wear Your Underwear

  • Wear Nomex underwear – It provides additional seconds of burn protection, as well as wicking of sweat to aid cooling.


4. Cover Up EVERYTHING

  • Hands, feet, ankles, and long hair need fire retardant material cover too.

  • Visors can’t protect your face against fire unless they’re in place, and of good quality (not cheap replacements).


5. Stay Hydrated

  • Not drinking enough water leads to compromised decision making, and later, heat-stress.

  • An easy way to judge your hydration level? Look at your urine. Clearer: Good, Darker: Bad.


6. Heat Stress (a rise in internal body temperature)

  • It’s more serious that just getting “over-heated” – It effects judgment and health. May lead to stroke.

  • Search for a woven driver suit that breaths, allowing evaporative cooling to keep your body cool.




7. Keep Your Head On

  • HANS, FHR, or other “Frontal Head Restraints” limit the effort of high G forces trying to pull your head off of your neck in a forward crash.

  • At their most severe, these forces can cause a “Basilar Skull Fracture”, and instant death.

  • Having “strong neck muscles” is not enough!



8. Think of Your Brain as Being Like Jell-O

  • When your head stops on impact, the Jell-O-like brain can still slam into the skull, bruising the brain and causing a “concussion”.

  • After a serious head hit, don’t immediately return to action and potential re-injury. See a doctor if you’re concerned.

  • To help minimize impact to the brain, wrap roll-bar tubing with SFI 45.1 spec padding, and remember, your head can travel further on impact than you think.


9. Safe Helmet Removal after Crash

  • Pulling the helmet off of a crash victim may aggravate any neck or back injuries.

  • Wearing a balaclava with handles, like the Stand 21 “Lid Lifter”, allows helmet removal with minimal stress on the neck.



10. Think Beyond Just “Meeting the Rules”, and “Getting

Through Tech”

  • Sanctioning body rules set minimum required protection specs.

  • They will not stop you from going beyond their minimums.

  • Ultimately, YOU need to do the research on how to best protect yourself and your loved ones who race!

See videos with more details on driver protection on YouTube.

Search: racinggoessafer


Don Taylor, Director, Stand 21 Safety Foundation

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