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NEW PCA Best Practices for DE (Rant!)

Old 12-05-2018, 03:51 PM
  #1  
Bob Rouleau
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Default NEW PCA Best Practices for DE (Rant!)

Apparently those gurus at PCA who make the rules for DE have once again stepped on their body parts. According to the new rules drivers in cars equipped with multipoint harnesses must wear a HANS device.

MY GT3RS has race seats, 6 point harness and a half cage. It also has functional airbags. Said airbags negate the benefit of a HANS. Did the bright minds at PCA mention this? Apparently not. Mind you these are probably the same guys who mandated a supplemental roll bar for Boxsters in spite of the fact that PAG stated clearly that the Boxster met the same roll-over standards as a coupe.

In my race car, I wore a HANS of course. In an airbag equipped road car? No.

Spare me from ham-handed attempts to try and make us safer. For example, I will NEVER wear a harness in a car without roll-over protection. On the other hand does PCA mandate roll-over protection for a car with harnesses? No.

Let's also remember that PCA says my harness expires in 5 years but I am OK to drive with 30 year old OEM 3 point belts which are much less robust.

If anyone has solid evidence that a HANS offers benefits in a modern airbag equipped car I would be delighted to hear it.

In the meantime, I suggest we start complaining like hell.

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Ex CI Rennsport Region PCA
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:58 PM
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Airbag is designed for 3 points. Just sayin.

6 points won't let your torso get to the airbag, unless you sit really close to the wheel.
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:10 PM
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PCA is not the only group that is implementing this.

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Old 12-05-2018, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Driver8 View Post
PCA is not the only group that is implementing this.
I can just hear your mother now. "If all your friends jumped off a bridge...."

For the record, I agree with the rule. I'm sure there was the same backlash when people had to start wearing leather helmets, then real helmets, seat belts, and so on.
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:22 PM
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The one time I strongly disagreed with a PCA club race rule I sent an email, outside of the rule comments period, and got an immediate change within 12 hours. PCA as a whole is not always unreasonable.

That being said, I think Burger has a point about airbags with harnesses versus three point belts.
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt Romanowski View Post
I can just hear your mother now. "If all your friends jumped off a bridge...."
PCA announced its intentions to implement this new rule earlier this year to give ample time for those without a head and neck restraint device ample time to purchase one. HOD followed suit last month.

Sometimes I was the first to jump of the bridge, either way my mother was not happy with me.
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:43 PM
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HANS restricts neck motion when the torso is rigidly held by the 5 or 6 point restraints. Has nothing to do with airbags.
I agree - multi-point restraints must use HANS, but also must include some sort of roll hoop at a minimum.
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:56 PM
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I also agree with PCA on this and it isn't because we sell them. Many of these rules have come about because of insurance companies along with their lawyers.
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:18 PM
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+1 on the drivers head wouldn't even reach an airbag if they're using 5 or 6 points. HANS is the better solution.
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:35 PM
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I think safety should be seen as a system with different components.
I think airbags and 3 point seatbelts make sense.
I think cage, HANS, halo seat and 5 point also make sense.
I'm not so sure about mismatching elements from different systems as they are designed to work as a whole
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:41 PM
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As an instructor if my student doesnt have a HANS I must run my 3 point belt and no HANS device for 2019.

Hoping PCA will provide loaners for student rides in instructor cars.

I wrote twice now to PCA about a group buy. No response to either emails sent.
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:48 PM
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Bob, out of curiosity, what is bothering you about the HANS?
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:07 PM
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I guess you could always install a 3 point belt but that seems wrong. In general I think the rule is good but I am curious about the GT3 RS. I assume Porsche knew what they were doing when they built it that way. Are the belts designed to stretch like 3 points?
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Rouleau View Post
Apparently those gurus at PCA who make the rules for DE have once again stepped on their body parts. According to the new rules drivers in cars equipped with multipoint harnesses must wear a HANS device.

MY GT3RS has race seats, 6 point harness and a half cage. It also has functional airbags. Said airbags negate the benefit of a HANS. Did the bright minds at PCA mention this? Apparently not. Mind you these are probably the same guys who mandated a supplemental roll bar for Boxsters in spite of the fact that PAG stated clearly that the Boxster met the same roll-over standards as a coupe.

In my race car, I wore a HANS of course. In an airbag equipped road car? No.

Spare me from ham-handed attempts to try and make us safer. For example, I will NEVER wear a harness in a car without roll-over protection. On the other hand does PCA mandate roll-over protection for a car with harnesses? No.

Let's also remember that PCA says my harness expires in 5 years but I am OK to drive with 30 year old OEM 3 point belts which are much less robust.

If anyone has solid evidence that a HANS offers benefits in a modern airbag equipped car I would be delighted to hear it.

In the meantime, I suggest we start complaining like hell.

Regards,

PCA National Instructor Mentor
Ex CI Rennsport Region PCA

So you are saying that you have been using 6 points WITHOUT your HANS because you think the airbag will deploy and catch your head? Im sorry, that makes zero sense. Use your HANS at all times with your 6 points and dont worry about the airbag.



Originally Posted by 996AE View Post
As an instructor if my student doesnt have a HANS I must run my 3 point belt and no HANS device for 2019.

Hoping PCA will provide loaners for student rides in instructor cars.

I wrote twice now to PCA about a group buy. No response to either emails sent.
I agree these kinds of rules are pretty ridiculous.
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:48 PM
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Has anyone done any data gathering to determine what is safe and what isn't? We always submitted our crash information to National and would think they could compile that information in order to come up with trends that indicate which safety rules should be implemented.

In my experience most crashes do not involve roll overs. In the cases where they do occur I personally haven't seen any indication that a 5 or 6 point harness is less safe. My experience in rollover's is very limited though as I have only been witness to or involved in some way in 3 that I can remember. In the case of my Wife's barrel roll I strapped her in her 6 point myself, harness bar in the car without any additional roll over protection and she came out alive and essentially unharmed.

The last real crash at speed I was involved in I was wearing a 6 point while riding as a passenger with a friend. He was exiting T9 at WG and another Driver lost control of their 996 in front of us. We hit the 996 just in front of the Driver's side door with the right front of the car I was riding in totaling both cars. Air bags in the car I was riding did not deploy. I was happy to be strapped in as opposed to just the factory belts.

Our only death as I recall was back in the mid 2000's when the Doctor lost control of his Boxster in T6 at WG and went into the barrier. He was not wearing a HANS and just the factory 3 point harness.

Of the over 100 crashes I have either witnessed, been party to as Co-Safety chair for our region, or involved in directly, from my experience if I have the option between factory 3 point belts and a 6 point harness I would always choose to be strapped in and wearing a HANS whether the car has additional roll over protection and airbags or not.
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