SCCA helmet and airbag advisory... - - Corvette Z06 Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-17-2004, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
No Doubt
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SCCA helmet and airbag advisory...


PO Box 19400, Topeka, KS 66619-0400

(800) 770-2055 Fax (785) 232-7214

Technical Services Participant Bulletin

DATE: November 16, 2004 FROM: National Staff TO: All Participants

SUBJECT: Airbag Advisory

It has been brought to the attention of SCCA Technical Services that the use of full-face or closed-face helmets while driving vehicles with active airbag restraint systems may result in injuries in the event of a crash that deploys the airbag. Because of the location of the steering wheel relative to a driverís position, the airbag axis is on a level with the driverís chin. In a crash with airbag deployment, contact with the chin area of a full-face helmet can be so powerful "that the risk of fractures to the jaw cannot be ruled out" (Hubert Gramling, FIA Institute, FT3/AF, 18.5.1999). This applies to vehicle that may be used in Solo, RallyCross, High Performance Car Control Clinics, etc.

Therefore, it is highly recommended that full-face helmets not be used in vehicles with functional airbag systems. Potentially more restrictive language is currently being considered for 2005, which could appear in an early 2005 issue of FasTrack. If you have any questions, please contact the SCCA at (800) 770-2055.

Last edited by No Doubt; 11-17-2004 at 05:04 PM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-17-2004, 05:19 PM
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How do you disable the Air Bag System? Pull the fuse? Where is it?

'99 Black Coupe / '01 Torch Red Z06
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-17-2004, 07:24 PM
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Yes, you can pull the fuse. On an 02 Z06, the airbag fuse is fuse 16 of the fuse panel under the panel in the passenger footwell. The fuses are listed in the owners manual.

As an FYI, for road racing the SCCA does mandate disabling or removal of the airbags. Mine are gone. However, I have a full eight point cage, kevlar FIA racing seat, six point Simpson harness, kevlar Simpson helmet, and HANS device.

Personally, if I were driving a street car in a DE, I'd still wear a full face helmet and leave my airbag on. I'd take the risk of a jaw fracture over the risk of smashing my head on something else.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-17-2004, 07:42 PM
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Two thoughts...

Proper fit of a full face helmet goes without saying, but too often I see people wearing helmets that are too big and loose, allowing the chinbar of the helmet to rotate under impact and contact the chin resulting in condylar fractures to the mandible. A properly fitted helmet can only be rocked about 1/2 inch because it is only the scalp moving. (Put your hand on top of your head and move the scalp back and forth. There isn't much play and that's what a properly fitted helmet should have, no more)

A custom fitted mouthguard in addition to the helmet will go a long way to prevent a broken jaw.

These comments are not intended to counter any safety rules of any sanctioning group involved with track days or racing.

That is all!

Tom B.
02 Z06 (Lady in Red)
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-18-2004, 09:09 AM
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Very unusual idea about mouthguards for additional protection. I'm a dds and never considered this as an issue. Good idea I wonder if the mouthguard would really help considering the power of and airbag or the chin bar of a helmet hitting a steeringwheel for example. Is there any data such as sled tests?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-18-2004, 01:45 PM
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When my airbag went off, it never touched my helmet. I was wearing my 5pt at the time though.
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