Injury can occur if the head is turned at the time of impact or if the person is surprised and unprepared for the collision. Symptoms can take between 6-10 hours to present and fortunately a majority of whiplash claims can be dealt with when medical opinion is sought.
Whiplash injuries are the most common injury in car crashes in the UK and reported in 80% of claims, costing around £2.5 billion per year and adding £93 to the average motor premium.
The UK has 50% more traffic on the roads than the European average and this obviously leads to a significant number of whiplash injuries. A properly positioned head restraint could however protect against the risk of injury.
Motoring safety experts Thatcham Research has published the following advice on how to properly have your head rest adjusted:
ONE: To offer sufficient protection, a head restraint should be as high as the top of the head and as close to the back of the head a comfortably possible - touching is best.
TWO: Although most head restraints are adjustable, research indicates about two thirds of drivers fail to adjust their seat’s head restraint even though the majority are easy to adjust.
THREE: The best seats are designed to support the occupant’s head very early in an impact and can mitigate the severity of any injury.
FOUR: Some modern seats now often have a fixed one piece head restraint that doesn’t require adjustment and covers a range of occupant sizes.
The following shows the correct positioning for the headrest:
It should be remembered that ensuring the head restraint is in the correct position is important for the passengers as well as the driver of the vehicle.
Many cars now have a ‘non-use position’ for the seats in the back of the car so they can be folded down when no one is in the back of the vehicle.
When there are passengers in the back of the vehicle however you should ensure the head rests are in the ‘in-use position’ in order to protect the neck in the event of an accident.
In the following picture you can see a headrest not in use on the left and a head rest in use on the right:
For further information on APIL and injury prevention day 2018 please follow the link - https://www.apil.org.uk/injury-prevention-day.aspx
If you have been injured in an accident please contact our personal injury team on 01392 285000 for specialist advice on claiming compensation.