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It's common for people to consider the head and neck safety device, or HANS device, a millennial item, something developed ten years ago or so. But it was actually conceived after an accident in 1981 and the first prototype was donned in 1986. It sold only sporadically throughout the 90s, but after Dale Earnhardt died in a crash at the 2001 Daytona 500 – coincidentally, of the same injury that lead to the HANS device's creation – it went from oddity to obligation in every major racin