Fitting better head restraints and seats to vehicles in the UK could prevent injuries that lead to costly whiplash claims, according to one car insurance expert.
Car insurer AXA says that, based on its research, barely over one out of every three cars on the roads in the UK have head restraints and seats that are designed to protect drivers by reducing the trauma in an accident that could lead to painful whiplash injuries. A serious problem in the UK, whiplash injury claims have become a major thorn in the insurance industry’s side, as the 570,000 claims being made on on an annual basis drive up costs for insurers by around £2 billion – costs that insurance companies pass along to the motoring public in the form of higher insurance premium prices.
According to AXA’s research, fitting higher-quality restraints and seats to cars in the UK with improper ones could eliminate as many as 370,500 whiplash claims every year, which could translate to £1.3 billion less in costs incurred by insurers paying out on claims. There are other, less expensive ways the industry could save money as well, the research found, as 40 per cent of motorists surveyed by the research study reported never adjusting their head restraints – and just over one out of four admitted to not knowing how to adjust the head restraint on their vehicle unassisted.
AXA’s chief claims officer, Robin Reames, commented on the study’s results, remarking that whiplash injuries can be brought down easily and without incurring the costs associated with replacing head restraints and seats if more drivers were made aware how easy it would be to help themselves.