Publication Abstract

Extending Human Performance Research to Motorsports: A Concept

Garrison, T. M., & Webb, H. E. (2011). Extending Human Performance Research to Motorsports: A Concept. International Motorsports Industry Show (IMIS) Safety and Technical Conference 2011. Indianapolis, IN.


Motorsports safety has moved forward in leaps and bounds, particularly in the past decade. Most of these gains have been made in the design of safety equipment, whether vehicle-based (e.g., shock-absorbing door panels, driver capsules), track-based (e.g., SAFER barriers) or driver-oriented (e.g., HANS device). Because of the high speeds and complexity of driver demands, safety systems have necessarily taken a reactive approach. Making comparable gains in safety for crew members on pit road, however, may require a more proactive approach. In addition, research from other highly complex and dynamic domains may also apply to motorsports. Human performance researchers at Mississippi State University are currently tackling the challenges faced by firefighters, law enforcement, athletes, and military personnel. Many of these domains share commonalities with the demands of motorsports: stress, extreme heat, situation awareness, and time-critical decision making. This presentation will provide examples of ongoing research and its potential application to a number of motorsports domains. Possible interventions and approaches to increasing and health and safety of crew members based on the outcomes of previous research will be provided.