BMJ Case Reports 2018; doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-224013
  • Unexpected outcome (positive or negative) including adverse drug reactions

Effect of a halo-type structure on neck muscle activation of an open-cockpit race car driver training under qualifying conditions

Open AccessPress Release
  1. James M Malone1,3
  1. 1 R+M, Willcox, Arizona, USA
  2. 2 School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University, Bentley, Western Australia, Australia
  3. 3 Raptor Motorsports, Willcox, Arizona, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Simon M Rosalie, simon{at}
  • Accepted 27 April 2018
  • Published 7 June 2018


The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile recently mandated the use of the halo frontal cockpit protection system to mitigate the risk of impact to the driver’s head. Here we describe the effect of a halo-type structure on the neck muscle activity of one of the authors, who is a national-level amateur racing driver, during a full qualifying session. We found that the workload of sternocleidomastoid increased and the workload of cervical erector spinae decreased with the halo fitted which is indicative of a forward head position. Left sternocleidomastoid and right cervical erector spinae fatigued more rapidly; whereas, left cervical erector spinae fatigued more slowly. There was no change in the rate of fatigue of right sternocleidomastoid. In combination with a forward head position, this suggests an increase in lateral flexion during head rotation which may affect accuracy of navigation. Thus, drivers may need to be trained to adapt to the halo to mitigate the effects on head position and movement.


  • Contributors SMR designed the methodology and analysis, collected the data and authored the manuscript. JMM set up the race vehicles, supervised the design and construction of the halo-type structure and coauthored the manuscript.

  • Funding This study was funded by Raptor Motorsports.

  • Competing interests JMM is the president of Raptor Motorsport LLC. This work was funded by Raptor Motorsports. SMR and JMM provide consultancy services to motorsport athletes as R+M.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethical approval to publish the case study was sought from and granted by the Institutional Human Research Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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