Head & Neck Restraint - Frequently Asked Questions
Is the R3 (or Hybrid or Hybrid-X) comfortable?
These devices are supplied with a molded back pad that inserts into the back of the seat. The pad has a center cut-out that the restraint sits into. When used with the supplied pad, the R3, Hybrid and Hybrid-X restraints are very comfortable.
Helmet hardware attaching: how is this done?
All of our restraints have complete kits that include helmet attachment hardware and instructions. If you have questions about your specific helmet, call us at 1-800-949-5712. Most helmets are pre-drilled for your restraint or have a M6 attachment point.
You mention the padding for my seat. As a driving instructor for many organizations, I'm concerned about the comfort of the R3 while I am in other cars. What can you tell me?
The R3 is currently in use by instructors, boat racers, off-road rally racers, late-models, and even desert racers, who all find it very comfortable. We offer a “Portable Pad” that you can use in the back of the seat. It can be carried from car-to-car and easily positioned on the next seat.
Are the Simpson devices available with Sliding Tethers?
Yes, this is an option. However, this does not provide much more movement than the fixed tethers. Simpson has a EX Slide upgrade that works much better. This is a factory after-purchase-only upgrade. Please call Simpson for the details. All HANS devices now come standard with sliding tethers.
Can you use the R3 with a 3-point harness?
Yes, the R3 is the only SFI 38.1 rated device that does not require racing harnesses. This makes the R3 ideal for instructors and students that want the extra protection, but do not have a race car. It will also work in a go kart.
Are my HANS device tethers too long? I can touch my chin to my chest with the device on.
No. The HANS Device comes properly adjusted for all drivers. Unless you have changed the tether length it is fine and will work in an impact. The HANS Device is the only head & neck restraint that allows exceptional vision via slack tethers and exceptional safety due to the way it works. The slack in the tethers is automatically taken up during impact.
What type of shoulder belts work best with a HANS Device?
Any SFI of FIA approved shoulder harness system works fine with the HANS Device. 2" or 3" shoulder belts in nylon or polyester work fine with the HANS Device. Be sure to mount and replace your belts in accordance with manufacturer guidelines. Only the HANS Device spreads the belts around your neck, preventing chafing and maximizing belt performance.
Do some shoulder belts slip off the HANS Device?
No. Properly mounted belts do not slip off the device. If your shoulder belts will not stay securely on the device, chances are that you do not have the belt mounts properly located in your chassis. The HANS Device actually maximizes belt performance by spreading the belts around your neck, allowing the belts to be mounted as close together as possible for best performance. In over 3600 crashes involving HANS Device use as inspected by NASCAR there was not even one concern about belt retention or slippage.
Are 2" shoulder harnesses better for the HANS Device?
No and Yes. 3" belts work just fine, however the 2" belts seem to fit better on the device without riding up the sides of the device. The 2" belts can also be easier to mount in the car to get the angles required for the HANS device. Please note, 2" shoulder harnesses are not legal for all forms of racing and are usually only legal when worn with a HANS brand devices.
I race on a short track at relatively low speeds. Do I need a Head and Neck Restraint?
Yes. Serious head and neck injuries happen at impact speeds as low as 35mph.
Do I need a different Head and Neck Restraint for each helmet?
No. As long as each helmet is fitted with the proper anchors, you can use one device with multiple helmets.
When should I replace my Head and Neck Restraint?
Unless it saves your life in a major wreck you may never have to replace your Head and Neck Restraint. Keep the device away from sunlight as this attacks the high performance resins used. The SFI recommends that devices be recertified every 5 years. We recommend that the tethers and any webbing be replaced at this time.
Can I share a HANS Device?
Yes. Provided that you are of similar physical size and shape to your partner, chances are good that you can share a HANS Device. Both of you will need to have HANS anchors installed on your helmets.
Can I share a Simpson Head and Neck Restraint?
Yes. Provided that you are of similar physical size and shape to your partner, chances are good that you can share a Simpson Device. Both of you will need to have the D-ring anchors installed on your helmets. However, the Simpson devices need to be tight on the body to work properly. The second driver will probably have to adjust the device before wearing it. This takes time. Don't plan on doing this during a driver change on a pit stop.
Can I wear a "horse collar" foam pad with a HANS Device?
Yes. Foam collars are comfort accessories, not safety equipment. Wear one to stabilize your head and helmet on rough tracks. Testing has shown a horse collar adds mass to the helmet and head loads that must be carried by the neck. This increases the chance of injury.
Do I need a special helmet?
No. HANS and Simpson helmet anchors fit any competition approved racing helmet. Most helmets are pre-drilled for these anchors.
I have an unusual racecar. Do you make a HANS Device that will fit?
Yes. The HANS Device can be worn in virtually any vehicle (not just cars) that uses two shoulder belts as part of the driver restraint harness. Only the HANS Device is available in 4 angles and 5 sizes to match any application. But, let's not stop there. HANS is great, but sometimes the Simpson devices work better for some people. If you purchase a device from I/O Port Racing Supplies and try it out in your car (test fit, not race) and you don't like it, call us with your concerns and we will help you work out a solution. It might be gel pads for your HANS device or it might be trying a HANS with a different angle. Sometimes it is best to switch to one of the Simpson devices.
How do I care for my HANSŪ device?
HANS Devices need almost no maintenance but should be kept clean and dry. Tethers are dated. Replace every 5 years, after major impacts or sooner if wear is observed. Extreme hot or cold environments should be avoided and they should be kept away from petroleum products and other corrosives as these can affect even the strongest composite materials and resins. To protect them, HANS Devices should be stored out of direct sunlight. They may be cleaned with soapy warm water.
How much does a HANS Device weigh?
Professional Series weigh about 1.5 pounds, Sport-2 Series weigh about 2.0 pounds and Sport-1 Series weigh about 2.75 pounds. Weights given approximate and are affected by size.
How much do the Simpson Devices weigh?
The R3 weighs about 1.5 pounds and the Hybrid Pro Rage weighs about 3 pounds for instance. Weights given approximate and are affected by size.
What if my HANS Device is in an impact?
HANS Devices are one of the strongest parts of your safety gear but should be inspected periodically or after major impacts. Tethers should be replaced after any major impact. Examine your HANS Device visually and run your finger around the edges. Any sign of de-lamination or surface cracking and exposed composite material means the device has served its purpose and should be replaced. Even the most thorough inspection can fail to detect damage. This is one of the reasons that we do not resell used devices, and we do not recommend that anyone buy a used device. If in doubt about the integrity of a HANS Device it should be replaced.
What is the difference between the different HANS devices?
The only difference is weight - all HANS Devices offer the same exceptional level of protection.
When I put the HANS device on, it rubs against my neck. Is that normal?
Yes. The padding is adjustable and moving it away from the neck often remedies this concern. This is a compromise to allow the driver to have greater clearance for steering and other arm movements.
I hear the HANS has a problem hanging up on the roll cage or bodywork getting out of the car. Is that true?
The HANS device has been known to do this, but with practice this problem can be eliminated. Also, the new Sport 2 device, with the rounded top, has less problems. I recommend that everyone, regardless of the device you decide upon, practice exiting the race car in case of an emergency. Practice until you have no issues and can get out in less than 10 seconds. Practice until it is second nature--in your subconscious. After all, your SFI 3.2A/5 suit will only last 9.5 seconds in a fire. As a tech inspector for NASA, I have tested 100s of drivers for exit time. There have been very few that could not get out in 10 seconds with a bit of practice (no matter the device). If you have a very tight cockpit, the Simpson devices have less issue with the device hanging up on exit.
Ken, you race. What do you wear?
I have worn the HANS, the R3 and the Hybrid Pro Rage. I find them all comfortable and easy to get used to. Each have advantages and disadvantages. They are all good devices. In the end it boils down to which one works best for you and your situation.