Unfortunately, it was not always as important as today, and many fatal tragedies occurred in this high speed and adrenalin filled sport. Recent decades brought strict regulations to safety. A survival cell in the cockpit protects the driver. He has limited moving space and his head does not stick out, to maximize the safety during a potential rolling crash.
The complete uniform is made of a synthetic fiber, Nomex. It protects the driver from fire for 12 seconds, enough for medics and other help to reach him. There is also the HANS, Head and Neck Support System, a carbon fiber collar around the neck. It has been mandatory since 2003. The helmet is made from the same material as the body of the car, meaning super strong and very lightweight. They are custom for each driver’s dimensions.
Last but not least, the five-point harness (seatbelt), five straps that secure the driver to the seat, one over each shoulder, one on each side and the last between the legs. It has a quick release mechanism as well. The overall safety of the tracks is on a high level as well, with fences, walls and different kinds of barriers. Marshals wear orange vests and they warn drivers, clear the track and keep the fans in their places. A safety car and a medical car ensure additional safety, and are deployed whenever necessary.