As a racing & track day fan i've collated research that addresses medicine in the motorsport world.
Motorsport is dangerous - that's part of the attraction, but what is science doing to make it safer?
Abstract: Because spinal cord injuries can have fatal consequences for injured race car drivers, prehospital treatment of spinal injuries is a major concern in motor sports. A structured procedure for assessing trauma patients and their treatment should follow established ABCDE principles. Only then, a stable patient could be further examined and appropriate measures can be undertaken. For patients in an acute life-threatening condition, rapid transport must be initiated and should not be delayed by measures that are not indicated. If a competitor must first be extricated from the racing vehicle, the correct method of extrication must be chosen. To avoid secondary injury to the spine after a racing accident, in-line extrication from the vehicle and immobilization of the patient are standard procedures in motor sports and have been used for decades. Since immobilization can be associated with disadvantages and complications, the need for immobilization of trauma patients outside of motor sports medicine has become the subject of an increasing number of reports in the scientific literature. Even in motor sports, where specific safety systems that offer spinal protection are present, the indications for spinal immobilization need to be carefully considered rather than being blindly adopted as a matter of course. The aim of this article is to use recent literature to present an overview about the treatment of spinal injuries in motor sports. Further, we present a new protocol for indications for immobilizing the spine in motor sports that is based on the ABCDE principles and takes into account the condition of the patient.
Pub.: 23 Dec '16, Pinned: 09 Feb '17
Abstract: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted a series of surveys to evaluate occupational exposure to noise and potentially ototoxic chemical agents among members of a professional stock car racing team. Exposure assessments included site visits to the team's race shop and a worst-case scenario racetrack. During site visits to the race team's shop, area samples were collected to measure exposures to potentially ototoxic chemicals, including, organic compounds (typical of solvents), metals, and carbon monoxide (CO). Exposures to these chemicals were all below their corresponding Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) permissible exposure limits (PELs), NIOSH recommended exposure limits (RELs), and American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) threshold limit values (TLVs). During site visits to the racetrack, area and personal samples were collected for organic compounds, lead, and CO in and around the "pit" area where the cars undergo race preparation and service during the race. Exposures to organic compounds and lead were either nondetectable or too low to quantify. Twenty-five percent of the CO time-weighted average concentrations exceeded the OSHA PEL, NIOSH REL, and ACGIH TLV after being adjusted for a 10-hour workday. Peak CO measurements exceeded the NIOSH recommended ceiling limit of 200 ppm. Based on these data, exposures to potentially ototoxic chemicals are probably not high enough to produce an adverse effect greater than that produced by the high sound pressure levels alone. However, carbon monoxide levels occasionally exceeded all evaluation criteria at the racetrack.
Pub.: 13 Jul '05, Pinned: 13 Sep '16
Abstract: Delivering emergency medical services at sporting events requires unique planning, equipment, personnel, and training. The Champ Car World Series is a top-level, open wheel racing series that uses both street and open terrain road courses for events held in several different countries. Medical services are available to both drivers and support staff through the use of on site medical personnel, specialized rescue vehicles, and a traveling medical center. This article describes the process of delivering high-quality, consistent medical care in a difficult racing environment.
Pub.: 15 May '08, Pinned: 13 Sep '16
Abstract: Anecdotal reports suggest that elite road motorcyclists suffer from high core body temperatures and physiological and perceptual strain when competing in hot conditions.Four male non-heat-acclimatized elite motorcyclists (3 Superbike, 1 Supersport) had their gastrointestinal temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate measured and recorded throughout practice, qualifying, and race sessions of an Australian Superbike and Supersport Championship round contested in tropical conditions. Physiological strain was calculated during the sessions, and fluid-balance measures were taken during practice and qualifying. Rider thermal sensation was assessed immediately postsession.Mean ambient temperature and relative humidity were 29.5-30.2°C and 64.5-68.7%, respectively, across the sessions. Gastrointestinal temperature rose from 37.6°C to 37.7°C presession at a median rate of 0.035°C, 0.037°C ,and 0.067°C/min during practice, qualifying, and race sessions to reach medians of 38.9°C, 38.8°C, and 39.1°C postsession, respectively. The peak postsession gastrointestinal temperature was 39.8°C. Median heart rates were ~164, 160, and 177 beats/min during the respective practice, qualifying, and race sessions, contributing to median physiological strain of 5.5, 5.6, and 6.2 across the sessions. Sweat rates were 1.01 and 0.90 L/h during practice and qualifying sessions, while rider thermal sensation was very hot after each session.This investigation confirms that elite road motorcyclists endure moderate to high physiological strain during practice, qualifying, and race sessions, exhibiting more-rapid rates of body-heat storage, higher core body temperatures, and higher physiological and perceptual strain than their stock-car-racing counterparts when competing in tropical conditions.
Pub.: 15 Jan '14, Pinned: 13 Sep '16
Abstract: The effect of continuous exposure of a driver's bones and muscles to vibration and G forces to years of automobile racing and the effect on overall health have not yet been examined in detail. The goal of this study was to investigate via questionnaire the musculoskeletal injuries and influencing parameters in 130 amateur and 7 professional race car drivers.A questionnaire, translated in English and German, was used to investigate the parameters that influence the racing performance and the character of resulting injuries.This investigation involved 137 drivers (133 men and 4 women) with a mean age of 42 years (standard deviation = 15). Approximately half of the drivers had < 10 years of experience in auto racing (49%). The drivers mainly complained about pains in the lumbar (n = 36; 26%), shoulder (n = 27; 20%), and neck regions (n = 25; 18%). The driver's posture and the comfort of the seat were statistically significant for causing lower back and upper legs pains. The race duration was relevant to neck and shoulder discomfort.The high incidence of musculoskeletal injuries in race car driving indicates the need for further improvements. Elimination of driver complaints about pain in the spine and upper extremities can be achieved through technical development, as already accomplished in Formula One racing.
Pub.: 25 Nov '14, Pinned: 12 Sep '16
Abstract: Motor racing is a dangerous sport and an inherently risky activity. The organisers of top-class motor sports championships, Formula One and MotoGP, have agreed on a set of regulations to reduce speed and improve safety over the last 10 years. These changes include limitations in weight, fuel and engine capacity. Nevertheless, there is evidence that most of the restrictions that have been introduced over the past 10 years have failed slow down vehicles, since the lap times have decreased almost linearly from 1995 to 2006 and drivers continue to die or to sustain serious injuries that keep them away from competition. Therefore, new and efficient measures should be adopted, such as lowering the cornering speed, having heavier and safer vehicles, having barriers surrounding the track to protect both spectators and competitors better, and having innovative clothing and protective devices to defend key anatomical structures while minimising the hindrance to the rider.
Pub.: 11 Oct '07, Pinned: 12 Sep '16
Abstract: Despite the popularity of open-wheel car racing, scientific literature about the physical characteristics of competitive race car drivers is scarce. The purpose of this study was to compare selected fitness parameters of experienced and junior open-wheel race car drivers. The experienced drivers consisted of five Formula One, two GP2 and two Formula 3 drivers, and the nine junior drivers drove in the Formula Master, Koenig, BMW and Renault series. The following fitness parameters were tested: multiple reactions, multiple anticipation, postural stability, isometric upper body strength, isometric leg extension strength, isometric grip strength, cyclic foot speed and jump height. The group differences were calculated using the Mann-Whitney U-test. Because of the multiple testing strategy used, the statistical significance was Bonferroni corrected and set at P < 0.004. Significant differences between the experienced and junior drivers were found only for the jump height parameter (P = 0.002). The experienced drivers tended to perform better in leg strength (P = 0.009), cyclic foot speed (P = 0.024) and grip strength (P = 0.058). None of the other variables differed between the groups. The results suggested that the experienced drivers were significantly more powerful than the junior drivers: they tended to be quicker and stronger (18% to 25%) but without statistical significance. The experienced drivers demonstrated excellent strength and power compared with other high-performance athletes.
Pub.: 04 Sep '12, Pinned: 12 Sep '16
Abstract: Driving is a complex behavior that requires the integration of multiple cognitive functions. While many studies have investigated brain activity related to driving simulation under distinct conditions, little is known about the brain morphological and functional architecture in professional competitive driving, which requires exceptional motor and navigational skills. Here, 11 professional racing-car drivers and 11 "naïve" volunteers underwent both structural and functional brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Subjects were presented with short movies depicting a Formula One car racing in four different official circuits. Brain activity was assessed in terms of regional response, using an Inter-Subject Correlation (ISC) approach, and regional interactions by mean of functional connectivity. In addition, voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was used to identify specific structural differences between the two groups and potential interactions with functional differences detected by the ISC analysis. Relative to non-experienced drivers, professional drivers showed a more consistent recruitment of motor control and spatial navigation devoted areas, including premotor/motor cortex, striatum, anterior, and posterior cingulate cortex and retrosplenial cortex, precuneus, middle temporal cortex, and parahippocampus. Moreover, some of these brain regions, including the retrosplenial cortex, also had an increased gray matter density in professional car drivers. Furthermore, the retrosplenial cortex, which has been previously associated with the storage of observer-independent spatial maps, revealed a specific correlation with the individual driver's success in official competitions. These findings indicate that the brain functional and structural organization in highly trained racing-car drivers differs from that of subjects with an ordinary driving experience, suggesting that specific anatomo-functional changes may subtend the attainment of exceptional driving performance.
Pub.: 27 Nov '14, Pinned: 12 Sep '16
Abstract: Our purpose was to test the multi-action plan model assumptions in which athletes' psychophysiological patterns differ among optimal and suboptimal performance experiences. Nine professional drivers competing in premier race categories (e.g. Formula 3, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge) completed the study. Data collection involved monitoring the drivers' perceived hedonic tone, accuracy on core components of action, posture, skin temperature, respiration rate and heart rate responses during a 40-lap simulated race. Time marks, gathered at three standardised sectors, served as the performance variable. The A1GP racing simulator (Allinsport, Modena) established a realistic race platform. Specifically, the Barcelona track was chosen because of its inherently difficult nature characterised by intermittent deceleration points. Idiosyncratic analyses showed large individual differences in the drivers' psychophysiological profile, as well as distinct patterns in regards to optimal and suboptimal performance experiences. Limitations and future research avenues are discussed. Action- (e.g. attentional control) and emotion (e.g. biofeedback training)-centred applied sport psychology implications are advanced.
Pub.: 03 Jan '15, Pinned: 12 Sep '16
Abstract: To determine whether elite motorsport athletes demonstrate superior levels of Visual Acuity than age and sex-matched controls.A cross-sectional observational study.A University vision and balance laboratory.Young male motorsport athletes from the New Zealand Elite Motorsport Academy and healthy age and sex-matched controls.Vision performance tests comprising; Static Visual Acuity (SVA), Dynamic Visual Acuity (DVA), Gaze Stabilization Test (GST), and the Perception Time Test (PTT).Motorsport athletes demonstrated superior visual acuity compared to age and sex-matched controls for all measures, and while this was not statistically significant for SVA, GST and DVA, it reached statistical significance for the PTT (p<or=0.05).This preliminary investigation into the visual ability of motorsport athletes demonstrated that they may have superior visual performance when compared to controls. Increased visual acuity and perception time may not only act to increase performance, but may also reduce the risk of potential injury. This study highlights the need for further research into the area of visual performance, particularly in motorsport and other high-speed sports, where such skills might be integral to performance and injury reduction.
Pub.: 13 Apr '10, Pinned: 12 Sep '16
Abstract: When discussing sports and the athletes who participate in them, it has long been recognized that fitness is a prerequisite for optimal performance. The goal of training to improve fitness levels in athletes is ultimately to minimize the stress that the body experiences during competition. When it comes to the topic of racecar drivers, however, drivers and their trainers have largely been left to their own devices to figure out the stressors and the areas of specific training focus. Unfortunately, racecar drivers have battled the stereotype that they are not athletes, and with little regard for them as athletes, drivers are seldom the focus of scientific research related to their performance. Like the cars they drive, driver-athletes are complex, but from a physiological perspective. However, unlike the cars they drive, driver-athletes have not been examined, evaluated, and tweaked to the same degree. The purpose of this review is two-fold: first, by examining the available literature, to make the case for new research into the driver's role in the driver-car system (i.e. driver science) and the stresses experienced; second, to make the case for more extensive use of microtechnology in the real-time monitoring of driver-athletes. With the miniaturization of sensors and the advent of portable data storage devices, the prospect of quantifying the stresses unique to the driver are no longer as daunting, and the relative impossibility and difficulties associated with measuring the driver-athlete in real-time no longer need to be as challenging. Using microtechnology in the assessment of the driver-athlete and with a more public discussion and dissemination of information on the topic of driver science, the scientific community has the opportunity to quantify that which has been largely assumed and speculated. The current article will offer the following recommendations: first, rather than examining a singular physiological stressor, to examine the interaction of stressors; second, to examine variables/stressors that are more representative of the changing driver demographics; third, to measure drivers in real-time during actual race events; lastly, to work to develop training programs that more accurately apply to the driver and the stresses experienced. In uncovering this information, there is an opportunity to contribute to racing becoming that much safer, that much more competitive, and that much more comprehensive for the driver, the team, and the sport.
Pub.: 18 Apr '13, Pinned: 12 Sep '16
Abstract: Stock car racing is the largest spectator sport in the United States. As a result, National Association for Stock Car Automobile Racing (NASCAR) Sprint Cup teams have begun to invest in strength and conditioning programs for their pit crew athletes. However, there is limited knowledge regarding the physical characteristics of elite NASCAR pit crew athletes, how the NASCAR Sprint Cup season affects basic physiological parameters such as body composition, and what is the most appropriate physical training program that meets the needs of a pit crew athlete. We conducted 3 experiments involving Sprint Cup motorsport athletes to determine predictors of success at the elite level, seasonal physiological changes, and appropriate physical training programs. Our results showed that hamstring flexibility (p = 0.015) and the score on the 2-tire front run test (p = 0.012) were significant predictors of NASCAR Sprint Cup Pit Crew athlete performance. Additionally, during the off season, pit crew athletes lost lean body mass, which did not return until the middle of the season. Therefore, a strength and conditioning program was developed to optimize pit crew athlete performance throughout the season. Implementation of this strength and conditioning program in 1 NASCAR Sprint Cup team demonstrated that pit crew athletes were able to prevent lean body mass loss and have increased muscle power output from the start of the season to the end of the season.
Pub.: 01 Oct '14, Pinned: 12 Sep '16
Abstract: The current method of extricating a driver after a collision in motorsport remains controversial. The current setup and deployment of both vehicles and personnel are outdated and in certain circumstances potentially dangerous to drivers. This analysis, based on current literature and the specialist expertise of the authors, endeavours to address the issues and make evidence-based recommendations.
Pub.: 01 Sep '16, Pinned: 12 Sep '16
Abstract: Crashes are a small but regular feature of elite motorcycle racing. These crashes provide a novel opportunity to benchmark and analyze motorcycle crash mechanics, crash types, and associated injuries at high speeds in a cohort of riders who are well protected and in a controlled environment.The purpose was to benchmark the prevalence of injuries, categorize crash subtypes, and determine associated injury patterns.This was an institutional review board-approved, prospective observational cohort study of MotoGP riders for 1 racing season in 3 venues. Accident type was determined by race-marshal report and visual analysis of race footage for each crash. Accident types were defined as lowside (falling toward the inside of the turn), highside (falling over and toward the outside of the turn), and topside (going over the handlebars of the motorcycle). Specific injuries and hospital admission data were collected using a standardized data collection form. Basic descriptive statistics were performed on all categorical variables. We used the exact binomial test examine the association between accident type and retirement from race, transport to medical building, transport to hospital, and injuries sustained.Crash prevalence was 9.7 per hundred rider hours. There were 78 crashes: 58 lowsides, 13 highsides, 2 topsides, and 5 indeterminate. In the lowside group (n = 58), 19 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.21-0.46) riders retired, 0 required emergent transportation to the track facility or to the hospital, and 1 (95% CI, <0.1-0.9) significant injury was noted. In the highside group (n = 13), 10 (95% CI, 0.46-0.95) retired, 9 (95% CI, 0.39-0.91) were transported to the track medical facility, and 3 (95% CI, 0.05-0.54) were admitted to the hospital. In the highside group, there were 7 (95% CI, 0.25-0.81) significant injuries. In the topside group, both riders were retired with 1 hospital admission. Lowside crashes had a lower rate of retirement from race, emergent transport, and significant injuries compared with highside crashes.Lowside crashes are lower risk than highside crashes. Most highside crashes are caused by oversteering to prevent an impending lowside crash. Strategies to reduce oversteering to prevent a lowside crash may reduce highside crashes, enhance the safety for riders in MotoGP racing, and be applicable to recreational motorcycle riding.
Pub.: 20 Jul '16, Pinned: 12 Sep '16
Abstract: Heat strain experienced by motorsport athletes competing in National Association for Stock Car Automobile Racing (NASCAR) may be significant enough to impair performance or even result in a life-threatening accident. There is a need to carefully quantify heat strain during actual NASCAR race competitions in order to faithfully represent the magnitude of the problem and conceptualize future mitigation practices. The purpose of this investigation was to quantify the thermoregulatory and physiological strain associated with competitive stock car driving. Eight male stock car drivers (29.0±10.0yr; 176.2±3.3cm, 80.6±15.7kg) participated in sanctioned stock car races. Physiological measurements included intestinal core (Tc) and skin (Tsk) temperatures, heart rate (HR), blood pressure, and body mass before and after completion of the race. Pre-race Tc was 38.1±0.1°C which increased to 38.6±0.2°C post-race (p=0.001). Tsk increased from 36.1±0.2°C pre-race to 37.3±0.3°C post-race (p=0.001) whereas the core-to-skin temperature gradient decreased from a pre-race value of 2.0±0.3°C to 1.3±0.3°C post-race (p=0.005). HRs post-race were 80±0.1% of the drivers' age-predicted maximum HR. Physiological Strain Index (PSI) post-race was 4.9, which indicates moderate strain. Drivers' thermal sensation based on the ASHRAE Scale increased from 1.3±0.5 to 2.8±0.4, and their perception of exertion (RPE) responses also increased from 8.4±1.6 to 13.9±1.8 after competition. Heat strain associated with competitive stock car racing is significant. These findings suggest the need for heat mitigation practices and provide evidence that motorsport should consider strategies to become heat acclimatized to better meet the thermoregulatory and cardiovascular challenges of motorsport competition.
Pub.: 05 Aug '14, Pinned: 12 Sep '16
Abstract: In brief: The author reviewed the incidence and pattern of injuries sustained by drivers over a nine-year period at Mid-Ohio and Waterford Hills (Michigan) road-racing courses. One death occurred at Mid-Ohio, and eight drivers incurred major injuries. No fatalities occurred at Waterford Hills, but three drivers incurred major injuries. The racing stock sedan was the type of car most frequently involved in accidents in the professional group and the open-wheel car in the amateur group. The most common cause of injury was hitting the steel guardrail. Thus, improvements in corner construction and barrier design may improve track safety in auto road racing.
Pub.: 01 Aug '85, Pinned: 12 Sep '16
Abstract: In brief: Sixty-nine race car drivers were surveyed in a study of the Indianapolis 500 from 1981 to 1984 and the 1984 Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) series. The purpose was to evaluate the frequency of accidents and the nature of the resulting injuries that occur in Indianapolis-type race cars. Findings revealed that lower extremity injuries occurred most frequently. Accident frequency was one per 1,414 miles of racing in the CART series and one per 3,000 miles at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The number of accidents per injury was 9.5 in the CART series and 3.2 at Indianapolis, compared with 8.2 on US highways. This study suggests that current technology, which has shifted the spectrum of injuries from life-threatening to limb-threatening on the race track, could be applied to everyday highway safety as well.
Pub.: 01 May '86, Pinned: 12 Sep '16
Abstract: Research on injuries in racing drivers is limited.To gain more information about such injuries.Injuries recorded during and after races between 1996 and 2000 were investigated using the medical charts from the circuit medical centre at Fuji Speedway, which is one of the biggest circuits in Japan. Races were in either single seat/formula cars or saloon cars.Data were obtained from 39 races in single seat cars (1030 participating cars) and 42 races in saloon cars (1577 cars). Fifty injuries were recorded during the single seat car races, and 62 during the saloon car races (injury rate 1.2 per 1000 competitors per race and 0.9 per 1000 competitors per race respectively). Thirteen injuries were recorded after the race, 12 of them in saloon car racing. Bruises were the major injury in single seat car racing (58%). Lower limb bruising was more common than upper limb bruising. Most of the injuries in saloon car racing (53.2%) were neck sprains. The incidence of concussion was high in both groups compared with other high risk sports.There were some differences in injuries between the two types of car. No serious injuries occurred except for one death. However, the driver's body is subjected to large forces in a crash, hence the high incidence of concussion. The injuries recorded after the race emphasise that motor racing is a demanding sport.
Pub.: 25 Sep '04, Pinned: 12 Sep '16
Abstract: To assess the pattern of injuries presenting to a racing circuit medical centre in two three-year periods before and after two chicanes were built into the track.Medical centre records were used to identify all patients assessed during the two time periods. Those referred to hospital were categorised by injury severity into three groups.The proportions of those attending the medical centre that were referred and admitted to hospital were the same in both periods (12-13% and 3% respectively). During the two study periods, the risk of a severe injury for a car driver decreased from 0.1% to 0.03% (p<0.05). For a motorcyclist, similar values were 0% and 0.2% (not significant).Chicanes have improved the safety of the racing circuit for car drivers, reducing the risk of injury.
Pub.: 25 Feb '05, Pinned: 12 Sep '16
Abstract: Traumatic brain injury from automobile crashes is a major source of trauma deaths. The investigation of crashes to understand factors of occupant injuries is an established practice. Our objective was to evaluate the association between vehicle G forces (G) sustained on impact and brain injury in motor sports crashes.We analyzed data regarding Indy Racing League (IRL) car crashes from 1996 to 2003 and compared the likelihood of head injury in those drivers who were in a vehicle that sustained an impact of > or =50 G versus those with a lesser impact. The mean maximal G for those with head injury was compared with those without head injury.We analyzed 374 crashes. A driver in a crash with an impact of > or =50 G developed a head injury 16.0% (30/188) versus 1.6% (3/186) in those of <50 G (P < 0.001). The mean peak G for those with head injury was 79.6 (SD 28.5) versus 50.6 (SD 28.0) in those with no head injury (P < 0.001).Findings were that IRL car crashes with peak vehicle G > or = 50 were associated with the development of traumatic brain injuries.
Pub.: 15 Mar '06, Pinned: 12 Sep '16
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess the physical demands, injuries, and conditioning practices of stock car drivers. Forty stock car drivers from 27 states in the United States participated in the interviews for 43.9 ± 13.9 minutes. The interviews examined background information, the physical demands of racing, injuries associated with racing, and the athletic and fitness background and practices of the subjects. Numerical data were analyzed using Pearson's correlation coefficients. Responses to open-ended questions were analyzed using inductive content analysis. Results revealed significant correlation between track points standings and the length of the resistance training sessions (R = -0.71, p = 0.002) and subject self-assessment of their fitness (R = -0.53, p = 0.045). Results also revealed that "upper-body strength" was identified as the most important physical demand. Extreme fatigue was the most common feeling after a demanding race. Subjects reported that shoulder fatigue was the most common form of muscle soreness experienced after a race. Back and torso injuries were the most common injury, although head injuries most frequently required medical attention. The subjects' biggest fear was fire, followed closely by head and neck injury. The bench press and running were the most commonly performed resistance training and cardiovascular exercises, respectively. Subjects reported that their highest motivation for training was to improve their racing performance. Many subjects had athletic backgrounds with football identified as the sport they had most commonly participated in. This study provides additional detailed information. Results of this study can assist strength and conditioning professionals in the development of strength and conditioning programs for performance enhancement and injury prevention that are specific to the needs of this population of athletes.
Pub.: 21 Apr '12, Pinned: 12 Sep '16
Abstract: Fatal craniovertebral junction (CVJ) injuries were the most common cause of death in high-speed motor sports prior to 2001. Following the death of a mutual friend and race car driver, Patrick Jacquemart (1946-1981), biomechanical engineer Dr. Robert Hubbard, along with race car driver and brother-in-law Jim Downing, developed the concept for the Head and Neck Support (HANS) device to prevent flexion-distraction injuries during high-velocity impact. Biomechanical testing showed that neck shear and loading forces experienced during collisions were 3 times the required amount for a catastrophic injury. Crash sled testing with and without the HANS device elucidated reductions in neck tension, neck compression, head acceleration, and chest acceleration experienced by dummies during high-energy crashes. Simultaneously, motor sports accidents such as Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s fatal crash in 2001 galvanized public opinion in favor of serious safety reform. Analysis of Earnhardt's accident demonstrated that his car's velocity parallel to the barrier was more than 150 miles per hour (mph), with deceleration upon impact of roughly 43 mph in a total of 0.08 seconds. After careful review, several major racing series such as the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and Championship Auto Racing Team (CART) made major changes to ensure the safety of drivers at the turn of the 21st century. Since the rule requiring the HANS device in professional auto racing series was put in place, there has not been a single reported case of a fatal CVJ injury.
Pub.: 13 Jul '16, Pinned: 12 Sep '16
Abstract: Understanding the position-specific musculoskeletal forces placed on the body of athletes facilitates treatment, prevention, and return-to-play decisions. While position-specific injuries are well documented in most major sports, little is known about the epidemiology of position-specific injuries in National Association for Stock Car Automobile Racing (NASCAR) drivers and pit crew.To investigate position-specific upper extremity injuries in NASCAR drivers and pit crew members.Descriptive epidemiological study.A retrospective chart review was performed to assess position-specific injuries in NASCAR drivers and pit crew members. Included in the study were patients seen by a single institution between July 2003 and October 2014 with upper extremity injuries from race-related NASCAR events or practices. Charts were reviewed to identify the diagnosis, mechanism of injury, and position of each patient.A total of 226 NASCAR team members were treated between July 2003 and October 2014. Of these, 118 injuries (52%) occurred during NASCAR racing events or practices. The majority of these injuries occurred in NASCAR changers (42%), followed by injuries in drivers (16%), carriers (14%), jack men (11%), fuel men (9%), and utility men (8%). The majority of the pit crew positions are at risk for epicondylitis, while drivers are most likely to experience neuropathies, such as hand-arm vibration syndrome. The changer sustains the most hand-related injuries (42%) on the pit crew team, while carriers commonly sustain injuries to their digits (29%).Orthopaedic injuries in NASCAR vary between positions. Injuries in NASCAR drivers and pit crew members are a consequence of the distinctive forces associated with each position throughout the course of the racing season. Understanding these forces and position-associated injuries is important for preventive measures and facilitates diagnosis and return-to-play decisions so that each team can function at its maximal efficiency.
Pub.: 11 Mar '16, Pinned: 12 Sep '16