Accession Number:

ADP013858

Title:

Disorientation, Dizziness and Postural Imbalance in Race Car Drivers, a Problem in G-Tolerance, Spatial Orientation or Both

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA PENSACOLA INST FOR HUMAN AND MACHINE COGNITION

Report Date:

2003-02-01

Pagination or Media Count:

14.0

Abstract:

On April 28, 2001, Championship Auto Racing Teams CART drivers reported experiences of disorientation, dizziness, nausea and blurred vision during practice trials on the Texas Motor Speedway TMS. Following the practice trials, there were reports of postural imbalance. As a result, the Firestone Firehawk 600 race scheduled for Sunday April 29 was cancelled, the first time in auto racing history that concerns about driver intolerance to G forces caused a cancellation. The four drivers who did not experience problems had completed less than 20 laps drive time of 8 min whereas those reporting symptoms had driven on the track for more than 8 min. Using track data maximum average speed in qualifying laps, radius of turns, bank angle of turns, we have calculated the magnitudes of gravito-inertial forces experienced by drivers on a number of speedways in the US. This reveals that drivers experience high G, particularly lateral G Gy on most speedways. Other tracks, eg., Dover Motor Speedway, also have steep banks and relatively small-radius turns, but have been raced at lower speeds. Some have banked turns that are steeper than the TMS turns. Calculated G-loads were greatest on the TMS, due to 220-250 mph car speeds. However, considering the semi- reclining posture of drivers, Gz on turns was not in a range that would be expected to produce G induced loss of consciousness G LOC.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Stress Physiology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE