You can’t always avoid getting into road traffic accidents, and with most neck injuries being from rear end shunts, you should learn how to protect yourself.
There are a number of safety features that modern vehicles are fitted with, such as airbags and seat belts, that offer excellent protection in the event of a road traffic accident. However, with whiplash and other related soft tissue neck injuries such a common occurrence in many types of accidents – particularly when struck from behind – the best way to protect yourself from whiplash injury is to ensure that your vehicle has a high quality head restraint and that it is properly adjusted to its best effect.
How it works
When you’re struck from behind, even at low rates of speed, your vehicle lurches forward. This causes the seat to push against your back and cushion it, but your neck and your head, which are not supported by the seat, continue their backwards motion.
In the event that your head restraint is positioned improperly, there is nothing to support your head and neck to arrest this backwards motion safely. However, when your head restraint is positioned properly, it halts this motion, offering a safe cushion for your head and preventing soft tissue injury to your neck that can lead to being diagnosed with whiplash.
So how do you adjust a head restraint?
Oftentimes it can be difficult to make sure your head restraint is in the proper place when it comes down to a new vehicle you’ve never sat in before. This means that even if you made adjustments to the head restraint years ago when you first bought your vehicle, you could still be driving around with the restraint adjusted improperly.
Instead of trying to do it yourself and failing because you don’t have eyes in the back of your head, you can consider enlisting the aid of a friend. Sit down in the seat and let your friend raise or lower the restraint in such a way that your neck and head are protected from harm, and if you’re worried about losing the position, a bit of tape on the head restraint can be used to mark your place for future adjustments or if someone needs to borrow your car.
You can save yourself quite a bit of pain and suffering – not to mention having to bring a whiplash claim against the driver that struck you -simply by making sure your heat restraint is set properly. The importance of this simply cannot be understated, as if even a small percentage of British drivers had properly adjusted head restraints, whiplash injury would likely decline by a noticeable margin.
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Image: Front Passenger Headrest by PugnoM