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SHR Flex

Winner - Silver

Competition: Spark:Spring Product
Designer: Maureen Carroll - Design Director, Creature, LLC
Design Type: Frontal Head Restraint
Company / Organization / School: Creature LLC, Atlanta, Georgia, USA for SCHROTH Safety Products Gmbh, Arnsberg, Germany
Website: http://www.schroth.com/en/
Team Members: Tom Myers, Mark Stiles, Jeff Juskowich, Stephen Jones, Shane Byler, Craig Cochran, Nick Reaves

The SHR Flex is a Frontal Head Restraint safety system that protects professional and recreational racecar competitors from severe or fatal upper neck/basilar skull fracture injuries in high-impact crashes, yet provides unprecedented comfort and unobstructed head movement during normal driving. Like many Frontal Head Restraint systems, the SHR Flex is worn around the neck/shoulders so that the “legs” lay on the chest. The racer’s helmet is then tethered to the device’s collar. However, SHR Flex takes a radically innovative approach compared to other products in the category: it is extremely low-profile during normal driving, but then uses the kinematics of the impact to become “activated” into its safe (high) position only when protection is needed. This is achieved by putting a hinge point between the collar and the legs. In an impact, the device’s collar pivots upward to control the rate and magnitude of loads on the racer’s upper neck to reduce the risk of severe or fatal injuries. Additionally, the legs are overmolded with flexible TPU to conform to the torso, which increases comfort without excess padding. It is a breakthrough, patent-pending design in an area of racer safety that has not seen significant innovation in 20 years.