When participating in auto racing, the protection of drivers is paramount. Auto racing helmets are an essential piece of safety equipment for any race car driver. The high speeds and potential for accidents on the track make it vital that drivers wear helmets that are properly designed, constructed, and maintained to protect their heads in the event of a crash. This blog post will discuss the types of helmets available, safety standards, and regulations one must keep in mind.


Types of Auto-Racing Helmets


There are three main types of auto-racing helmets: open-face, full-face, and hybrid helmets. 


  • Open-face helmets have a chin bar with an upper shield to protect the eyes from wind or debris. 
  • Full-face helmets cover the entire head and feature a full visor and chin bar to provide maximum protection from impact. 
  • Hybrid helmets are a combination of both open-face and full-face models with additional ventilation options. 


The type of helmet chosen should depend on the vehicle being driven (open-wheel cars typically require more extensive coverage) and personal preference.

Safety Standards


To ensure the safety and effectiveness of auto racing helmets, they must meet several regulations and standards. These regulations are set by organizations such as the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) and the SFI (Sports Car Club of America Foundation, Inc.). 


Some key considerations include weight, the material used in construction, shock absorption capabilities, fire resistance, shell strength/thickness/rigidity, sweat absorbency levels within the lining materials used inside the helmet, and more. All these factors help ensure that drivers receive adequate protection during an accident or crash. 


Impact Testing


One of the key regulations for auto racing helmets is the requirement that they pass impact testing. This involves dropping a helmet from a specific height and measuring the force transmitted to the head foam inside. The helmet must not transmit more than a certain amount of force to pass the test.


Fire Resistance


In addition to impact testing, auto racing helmets must also meet standards for fire resistance. This is important because race car accidents often involve fires, and a helmet that is not fire-resistant could put a driver at risk. The SFI Foundation, for example, requires that helmets meet a fire resistance standard of at least 20 seconds.


Proper Fit & Comfort


Another essential regulation for auto racing helmets concerns their fit and comfort. The right fit is critical to the helmet to provide adequate protection in the event of a crash, and a helmet that is too loose or too tight can be uncomfortable and distracting for the driver. To ensure a proper fit, auto racing helmets are often custom-made for individual drivers and may also be equipped with padding or other adjustability features.


In addition to these regulations, auto racing helmets must be properly maintained and replaced when necessary. The SFI Foundation, for example, recommends that helmets be replaced every five years or sooner if they have been involved in an accident or have otherwise sustained significant damage.




Auto racing is an exciting sport but also one with inherent risks. Drivers need the proper safety equipment to reduce their chances of injury in an accident or crash. This includes wearing a properly fitted helmet that meets all safety standards and regulations set forth by organizations like FIA or Snell Memorial Foundation. Understanding which type of helmet you need based on your activity level and knowing which safety standards and regulations apply to your situation can help ensure you stay safe while enjoying your favorite sport. Visit racechoice.com for your auto-racing needs!