to Buy a Head and Neck System
with any product, you want to make sure you get the most for your money.
Look at how much safety it provides, how much it costs, and how long it
Also consider comfort, convenience and flexibility.
And here are some universal truths about all
The best measure of safety is the "percentage of head load reduction."
This tells you how much of the head load a particular product removes
compared to loads experienced by an unprotected driver. Does it remove
50%? 75%? 90%? The more the better. The percentage head load reduction
for most products is shown on the comparison chart, located here.
Something that is difficult to measure but is very important to safety
is getting out of the car in case of fire. Anything that must be worn
can slow egress, especially if it gets caught on something on the way
out—and taking it off just takes more time.
This is like filling the fuel tank of your car. If you spend $20, is that
good or bad? If you have a 5 gallon tank, it's bad; if you have a 40 gallon
tank, it's good. With head and neck restraints, it is easy to figure how
much you spend for every percent of head load reduction.
If more than one driver can use the product in more than one car, your
cost of racing goes down.
Does the manufacturer offer a money-back guarantee if you are not pleased
with your purchase, or are you stuck with it?
Some manufacturers of webbing-based products say their products must be
replaced every two years, even if you don't crash. This makes them very
expensive and leaves them with virtually no resale value.
Rigid products, however, only need to be replaced in the event of severe
loading. If you don't crash they can be used indefinitely, and resold
The single best measure of a product's value is how much it costs every
year per percent of head load reduction. For the Basic Isaac® System
this cost is $1.66, with other products ranging from $2.00 to $4.50—and
that assumes the Isaac® has no resale value after five years.
Convenience and Flexibility
Any product that is uncomfortable to use, or must constantly be tightened
to work properly, is annoying and can cause the racer to become distracted.
Head and neck systems should help you, not hurt you.
Can you leave it in the car, or do you have to wear it, or carry it around
when not racing? When you are in the paddock, can you easily peel down
your suit in hot weather?
Can any driver use it, or does it only "fit" certain size drivers?
Can it be used in nearly all cars, or only cars with a particular seat
you going to have to modify your belt mounts to use it properly?
Can it be upgraded if you want to change components or the manufacturer
develops an improvement, or are you stuck with what you bought?
For young racers, can the product grow with the driver, or will Mom and
Dad need to buy several over time?
Truth About Head Restraints
What every racer should know about all
There is no such thing as a bad head and neck restraint.
products that perform at the low end of the scale in laboratory crash
tests still remove about half the head loads in a frontal (or offset-frontal)
All products can cause injury.
the process of saving your life, a product must transfer somewhere else
the loads that would otherwise go to your head and neck. If the product
is worn, these loads will be transferred to other areas of the body.
Bruising and other injuries may result using any product.
secondary injury is a small price to pay. Don't whine about it. Be thankful
you are still around to complain.
All products can break, bend and stretch.
and neck restraints can be like airbags: They may not be reusable after
an impact. If you have any doubt about the integrity of the product
you use, replace it immediately.
If you need to replace a part, make sure it is not a body part.