BMJ Case Reports 2018; doi:10.1136/bcr-2018-225427
  • Novel treatment (new drug/intervention; established drug/procedure in new situation)

Effect of halo-type frontal cockpit protection on overtaking

Open Access
  1. James M Malone1
  1. 1R+M, Willcox, Arizona, USA
  2. 2School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University, Bentley, Western Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Simon M Rosalie, simon{at}
  • Accepted 24 August 2018
  • Published 8 September 2018


In 2018, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile introduced the halo frontal cockpit protection system into Formula 1. While extensive testing was conducted to confirm that the halo protects the driver from contact, the halo’s effect on the driver during overtaking was not tested prior to its introduction. Here, we describe the effect of a halo-type structure on the neck muscle activity of one of the authors, a national-level amateur racing driver, during on-track simulations designed to practise overtaking. We found that the halo-type structure caused an increase in the rates of fatigue and workloads of sternocleidomastoid and cervical erector spinae. The results suggest that the driver adopted a forward and right laterally flexed head position, presumably to clear the central pillar from his visible field. This has the potential to increase compressive loading of the cervical spine and affect the ability to use visual cues during steering manoeuvres.


  • Contributors JMM and SMR conceived and designed the assessment. SMR collected, analysed and interpreted the data. SMR authored the manuscript and JMM edited the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests SMR and JMM are partners in R+M, LLC, which offers biomedical testing and training services in motorsport.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethical approval to publish the case study was sort from and granted by an 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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