Schroth Racing wanted a Frontal Head Restraint that would overcome racecar drivers’ well-known reluctance to wear the safety equipment. Typical Frontal Head Restraints have a rigid, high collar to tether the helmet, protecting the driver from upper neck/basilar skull fractures. But drivers dislike the way high collars knock against their helmet and seat, limit lateral head movement, and are uncomfortable to wear. Though required equipment for professional racers, recreational racers have been reluctant to adopt this safety equipment, making basilar skull fractures the single most prevalent cause of racing deaths in the US each year.
We collaborated with Schroth Racing to design the SHR Flex with a radically innovative approach: it is low-profile during normal driving, but uses the kinematics of the impact to become “activated” into its safe (high) position only when needed. This prevents severe/fatal injuries in high-impact crashes, yet provides racers unimpeded head movement during normal driving. It is a breakthrough, patent-pending design in an area of racer safety that has not seen significant innovation in nearly 20 years.
We also took a completely novel approach to comfort and fit; the legs are over-molded in a soft elastomer that contours to fit the racer. The undersides of the legs have soft elastomer ribbing that is deeply contoured at the clavicle, achieving comfort without bulky padding. The SHR Flex’s architecture means just one version will work across all car/seat set ups, ending confusion about choosing the right product. We believe the breakthrough design of the SHR Flex will encourage more recreational racers to adopt a Frontal Head Restraint system, and reduce the incidence of injuries and fatalities across all levels of racing.