Whether you participate in amateur racing or just like to hit the track on the weekends, your personal safety is important. This means that you should always wear a helmet, make sure that your car passes the safety tech inspection, and maybe even use a HANS device. But what if you don’t have a proper safety harness in your car to use a HANS device? In that case, the Simpson Hybrid S would be your best bet.
What is a HANS device?
Racing is a dangerous sport in that one wrong move or miscalculation can lead to a major crash on the track with either another car, a wall, or some other obstacle. Car and Driver used the anecdote of a racecar driver named Patrick Jacquemart, who died from a basilar skull fracture, or brain trauma caused by injuries to the base of his skull.
This tragedy led his friend, Jim Downing, and Downing’s brother-in-law (Dr. Bob Hubbard) to invent the “head and neck support” device that we now know as the HANS device. The HANS device is basically a harness that sits atop the driver’s shoulders and has a raised neck.
There are two polyester fabric tethers that connect the harness to the driver’s helmet in order to ensure that the driver’s head doesn’t snap in any direction under force. It doesn’t necessarily hold the driver’s head in one place, instead, the tethers ensure that the driver’s head moves along with his torso so that vital neck and skull bones aren’t injured during a crash.
How is the Simpson Hybrid S harness different from a HANS device?
In order to properly secure a HANS device to the driver’s shoulders, it must be belted down via the car’s five-point or six-point race harness. However, if you’re the casual weekend track driver, then chances are that you don’t have a race harness in your car.
Fortunately, the Simpson Hybrid S is a harness that you can wear and strap down to your body to anchor it, and then attach the straps to the helmet. The result is the same effect as a normal HANS device, but with the added portability and versatility to use it with a normal three-point seatbelt.
According to the Simpson Racing website, the Hybrid S has a lightweight design and a Dupont carbon/polymer construction to provide maximum comfort, stability, and strength. One of the best parts about the Hybrid S is that it’s easy to put on and take off, making it a great choice for race teams that need to transfer the device between drivers during pit stops.
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How much does the Simpson Hybrid Sport cost?
The Simpson Hybrid S currently retails for $1,114 and is available in a variety of sizes. You can also choose different tether systems to work in conjunction with it and can even attach them to seatbelt anchors if your race car has them.
By comparison, the least expensive HANS device we found retails for $979 and requires the use of a race harness, which will cost even more.