Neck and Spine protectors.
Basal skull fractures and spinal cord injuries remain as one of the few things modern medicine cannot treat in any consistent manner. They are also something that helmets and leather cannot protect against. Thus, spin and neck protectors are needed, and now available. But I have significant questions as to the effectiveness of the designs used.
Let me start with the neck braces. The effectiveness of the HANS device in car racing is unquestionable. But the HANS is retained partially by the driverís six-point harness. Between the harness and the HANS there is essentially no head mobility forward or side to side, with very little rotation. Perhaps most importantly, straps connect the helmet to the HANS, preventing the neck from extending. As basal skull fractures are often a result of neck over-extension, this is very important. The motorcycle neck braces I have seen allow a much greater range of motion, with no limits on extension.
Spine protectors seem even worse. It looks like the only protect against foreign object damage, and not bending. Considering the fact that the spine can move in all three directions, break in two and suffer considerable soft tissue damage in the third, I doubt that the protectors are effective at preventing anything.