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Comment: Motorsport’s life saver, for less than $450

“To anyone who thinks rallying without a HANS device is a good idea, I hope these pictures change your mind,” says rally driver Taylor Gill after a very heavy landing in last year’s National Capital Rally.

The world of modern motorsport is very safe with lots of clever and innovative safety features brought into the sport of recent years.

Unfortunately, many of these safety items aren’t cheap to buy, but as everyone knows, you can’t put a price on life.

One of the most important and life-saving pieces of equipment to be added to the circle of motorsport safety is the HANS device (Head And Neck Safety).

Thankfully, my father is on top of ensuring that I’m as safe as I can be in the rally car.

Back when I raced go karts, I used to wear a neck brace, however in my eyes, the neck brace looked ugly and was “uncool” to wear, so you could imagine that the day I convinced him to let me take it off I was pretty damn happy.

Murphy's Law

Of course, the one day from seven years of karting I wasn’t wearing that neck brace was the day I rolled the go kart, and from that moment onwards, we’ve never skimped on safety.

The HANS device is one of the most innovative safety devices introduced into motorsport, and whilst some people find them bulky, uncomfortable and ugly, oddly enough I love wearing mine.

I even used to wear it competing in khanacross events, because you just never know when the corner is going to tighten!

Taylor Gill rolls his go-kart, the day he wasn't wearing his neck brace.

In my opinion, if Pete wasn’t wearing that glorified piece of plastic around his neck, he could have sustained very serious injuries.

The impact on landing after the jump is clear to see from these Dave Oliver photos.

At the National Capital Rally last November, we encountered ‘that’ jump!

I think it’s fair to say that the piece of plastic tethered to our helmets worked some magic and helped both myself and Pete Harris escape serious injury.

When it comes to rallying accidents, generally it’s the co-driver who comes off worse for wear, and that was no different in our situation. If you thought I didn’t expect such a big jump, you should ask the man who had his head down when we landed!

In my opinion, if Pete wasn’t wearing that glorified piece of plastic around his neck, he could have sustained very serious injuries.

Get your HANS device HERE

The best money you can spend

Like any safety equipment, once it’s had a big impact or been pushed to its limits, it generally requires repair or replacement. In our case, both myself and Pete have replaced the tethers on our HANS devices.

Basically, the point I’m making is. would you rather spend thousands of dollars on making your car hit the trees faster. or spend five hundred bucks to stop your million-dollar head coming off when you hit the trees?

My views on the Head And Neck Safety device are plain and simple: you’d have to have a head full of rocks to consider doing a rally without one!

Photos: Roy Meuronen

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Taylor Gill