Auto Racing Safety Equipment

Auto racing can be an exhilarating sport. Drivers need to make sure that they have quality safety gear to protect themselves while behind the wheel. Once all the key safety equipment has been selected, such as helmets, gloves, suits, and belts, it’ll be time to put the pedal to the metal.

What features should racing helmets have?

Helmets are the gear needed to protect the driver’s head. Most helmets are made of materials resistant to impact. When completing racing suits by selecting helmets for auto racing, consider:

  • Snell rating: Depending on the specifications of a rating, some helmets are considered professional grade, street legal, or appropriate for different types of racing.
  • Fire resistance: Many helmets possess a Nomex liner. This is an added layer of protection necessary for certain racing styles.
  • Durable face shield: Being able to clearly see the track, other racecars, or potential danger while behind the wheel is a critical aspect of helmets. The glass-like material of the shield, which is generally polycarbonate, should be strong enough to handle a rough ride. From scratch-resistant to UV-ray protective, helmets need to meet Snell standards for optimal safety while racing.
  • Good fit: An appropriate fit adds comfort but also plays a role in how these accessories emphasize safety. Once fastened on, helmets shouldn’t move loosely and need to feel snug and secure.
  • Ventilation: Wearing poorly designed helmets could affect your ability to take in fresh air. Check features regarding ventilation to maximize your access to easy breathing and optimize driving performance.
What materials should you look for in racing suits?

Suits appropriate for auto racing need to meet SFI standards. A Nomex liner creates a tested barrier between the skin and flames and intense heat. Additional chemically treated cotton lends some protection but can lessen after time. Other suits may be made of materials, such as Cordura, that don’t offer fire resistant protection and aren’t optimal safety equipment. You can also choose from one, two, or three layers when shopping for suits. Multi-layered suits offer more protection when racing. When selecting suits, consider underwear designed for auto racing.

Are gloves recommended for racing?

Yes. Quality gloves should be comprised of fire-resistant materials while allowing for flexibility in the fingers for a comfortable grip on the steering wheel. The protective materials offer a stronger barrier between flames and the driver’s hand if a fire ignites. Everyday leather gloves could shrink and cause additional harm to the hands if exposed to fire.

What kind of shoes should you wear when racing?

You’ll want to avoid leather when choosing racing shoes. These accessories may seem insignificant when piecing together your safety gear, but the shoes you select will be in charge of protecting your feet. Consider a pair that promotes fire resistance and durability. Quality shoes deserve as much consideration as the other safety equipment in your racing attire.

What is a harness for?

Restraints provide protection during a race. A harness can keep you from being injured during an accident. Safety belts or restraints are generally required. A harness needs to possess an appropriate SFI rating and be durable for racing conditions. Belts also need to be professionally installed for optimal protection with at least a five-point harness.