How Modern Race Cars Keep Their Drivers Safe

Since the invention of cars, we’ve had motorsports. Over more than a century of innovation, the motorsports industry has drastically improved their race cars. With modern safety features we’re able to protect drivers from the force of a crash at over 300kmph. That’s 25x the force for a regular car crash that must be absorbed and displaced to protect drivers from serious injury. Here are 4 built-in, essential safety features in every modern race car.

Chassis & roll cage

Race cars are built with a monocoque chassis. Monocoque is a French term which translates to ‘single shell’, meaning the car’s body is built from a single structural skin. This single structure is the main force absorber in a crash. The chassis is also home to the roll cage – an essential safety structure frequently made with 4130 chromoly tubing. This tubing is lightweight and high-strength which helps it resist buckling in a crash and present an opening for the driver to escape after a crash.

Airport Metals are a leading distributor for quality 4130 chromoly tubing to the motorsports industry in Australia. Learn more about our steel tubing or browse our full list of metal products.

Car seats

Race car seats are designed to hold the driver inside the roll cage. They wrap around the driver’s ribcage and shoulders to assist in spreading the force across the body, rather than letting it hit in one specific area.


Unlike the seatbelts in a regular car which are designed to stretch, race car seatbelts are much more rigid. With 5 connection points, they’re meant to hold a driver tightly to their seat which helps them to slow down at the same speed as the car. Since 2001, NASCAR has also mandated the use of a head and neck restraint to protect from spinal injuries.

Window nets & roof flaps

Window nets and roof flaps keep the driver inside the car during a crash. It’s near impossible to control your body with the pressure of a high-speed crash, and these simple measures prevent flailing limbs or flying through the roof. Roof flaps are also designed to prevent skidding cars from becoming airborne – an issue that was all too common in race car crashes before this innovation.

Safety begins with a high-quality build

The first step for a safe race car is the quality materials. As Australia’s leading metal distributors for the aircraft and motorsports industries, Airport Metals have everything you need for a safe build. For all sales and general enquires, call (03) 9310 5566 or fill in our enquiry form.