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Here goes nothing
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Good news: All 2005 rulebooks to appear online

http://www.scca.com/News/News.asp?Ref=199

Bad news: Closed-face helmets may be illegal for use with airbag-equipped cars (which obviously includes the RSX)

http://www.scca.com/_Filelibrary/File/AirbagAdvisory.pdf

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SPORTS CAR CLUB OF AMERICA, INC
PO Box 19400, Topeka, KS 66619-0400
(800) 770-2055 Fax (785) 232-7214 www.scca.com

Technical Services

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
driver's position, the airbag axis is on a level with the driver's 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.

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Please note the mention of a FasTrack update. Remember that as an SCCA member you get a free subscription to SportsCar, which includes the FasTrack section somewhere towards the back. It is your responsibility to note any rule changes in these issues that may affect you (the RSX Type-S demotion from DS to GS happened in FasTrack after the 2004 book was printed). For those of you currently in the market for a helmet, it may be wise to find an open-face piece or wait until this settles. I am hoping that "more restrictive language" doesn't appear, because then some of us need to spend a lot more money, but safety first as always.
 

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sigh
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Wow. I guess it makes sense. I'm glad I didn't rush out and buy a helmet last year. I'm sure I would have bought closed-face. Thanks for the heads-up.
 

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Here goes nothing
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I'm going to write a letter... the SA2005 cert is coming about a year from now, and a lot of people with 1990 helmets will make a switch then. To make this a RULE rather than a recommendation at the beginning of 2005 would be bad IMO, and I hope they don't make us rush to the stores and buy something that would last 5 fewer years than something we can get in October :thumbsdow
 

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So Others May Live
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lando said:
I'm going to write a letter... the SA2005 cert is coming about a year from now, and a lot of people with 1990 helmets will make a switch then. To make this a RULE rather than a recommendation at the beginning of 2005 would be bad IMO, and I hope they don't make us rush to the stores and buy something that would last 5 fewer years than something we can get in October :thumbsdow
The SCCA can kiss my white fuzzy ass if they think they're going to deny me my closed face helmet. I mean Christ, I only just got serious about buying a helmet, and they're already telling me "No, you can't buy that helmet, buy this helmet." They can eat shit for denying me my closed face helmet. :firemad:
 

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I know the airbags are pretty forceful, but I've never heard of people having burns on their faces from them. I thought they were specifically designed to hit people in the chest when they are positioned correctly.

At any rate, why would a closed-face helmet cause broken jaws? Isn't the point of them to save your face? What about motorcyclists that hit the ground at over 100mph?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Shadow, I wouldn't get pissed immediately. This isn't a rule yet, it's just a safety advisory. However, it would be good to provide feedback to SCCA (in nicer terms please) and let them know that this will put off a lot of members. I think they know that, but every letter counts. My guess is this is just CYA so nobody sues SCCA for allowing the helmets after this study was released.
 

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I like this comment:

marka said:
Howdy,

Lesse, I can have the airbag hit the chinbar of a helmet or hit my jaw.

I wonder which I'd prefer?

Morons.

Mark
But then I saw this:

PedalFaster said:
Nick, if your face hits the airbag, the force of the impact will be distributed across your entire face as the airbag conforms. If your helmet hits the airbag, the force of the impact will be distributed across the front of your helmet as the airbag conforms, but then when your face hits the inside of the helmet, the force will be concentrated on the chinbar.

I speak from personal experience, having had an airbag deploy while I was wearing a full-face helmet -- I got a bloody lip and nose out of it, but nothing worse. I agree with Rex's comment; although I acknowledge that an open-face helmet might be incrementally safer, I don't think the number of airbag deployments at autocrosses nationwide justifies forcing a significant proportion of the membership to buy new helmets.
 

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Here goes nothing
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Discussion Starter #9
I think that all things being equal, it's probably safer to be open-face in the case of an airbag deployment. But yeah, how many of those are there in autocross? If there is one, you probably killed somebody, and the last thing people are going to be concerned with is your helmet :rolleyes:
 

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So Others May Live
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The thing is, you see closed-face helmets all over the place, and how many of those injuries have resulted from those closed face helmets? Probably not enough to warrant a change in policy. It just annoys me because I feel more comfortable with a closed-face helmet, and I'm sure alot of other people do, and to make them illegal, or suggest doing so, is going to piss of a TON of people.
 

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Has anyone heard if the RSX is still gonna be in CSP next season? I am not sure I understand the reasoning behind putting it up against the Miatas. I know the -S was originally classed in DS...maybe they just never got around to reclassing it in SP because no one was running it.
 
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