Adjusted Headrests Prevent Injuries - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Adjusted Headrests Prevent Injuries


If you asked Ontario drivers to list the safety features built into their vehicles, most of them would probably mention air bags, seat belts and anti-lock brakes. It is doubtful if any of them would mention their vehicle’s headrests, yet they are a proven method of reducing serious injuries in a collision. Research shows headrests can reduce whiplash injuries, particularly those caused by rear-end collisions, by 40 percent, but they must be properly adjusted to provide maximum protection in a crash.

Whiplash injuries

Soft tissue injuries, which do not result in fractured bones or damage to internal organs, are among the most common injuries suffered by victims of car crashes. According to the Canadian Automobile Association, soft tissue injuries account for $4 billionin payments by insurance companies for claims bycrash victims each year.

Whiplash is a common cause of soft tissue injury to the neck and cervical spine. It happens when the head of a driver or passenger is pushed forward by the impact of a collision, particularly when a vehicle is hit from the rear. The force of the crash causes the forward movement to be replaced with the head suddenly snapping backward.

Headrests prevent whiplash injuries

Headrests are designed to limit the range of motion as a vehicle occupant’s head whips backward in a crash. Limiting how far back the head moves can reduce or eliminate the damage to muscles, ligaments, discs and nerves associated with whiplash injuries.

The damage done to the neck and cervical spine area can cause an accident victim to experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Limitation of movement in the neck area
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches

If there is damage to nerves in the neck, it could cause tingling or numbness in a victim’s arms and hands. A headrest can prevent or lessen the severity of a whiplash injury, but it can only do so if it is properly adjusted to provide maximum protection to the occupant’s head.

Adjusting your headrest

Only 14 percent of drivers bother to adjust their headrests, but an inspection showed that 53 percent of those headrests were adjusted improperly and would not protect a person in a rear-end crash. What makes this statistic so disturbing is how easy it is to make the proper adjustment to the headrests in your vehicle.

Too many people get into a car without giving a thought to the position of the headrest. If it is positioned too low, your headrest increases your injuries by allowing your head to extend over it and place added strain on your neck in a collision. While sitting in your vehicle facing forward, follow these three steps to properly adjust your headrest:

  • Raise or lower the headrest so its middle is even with the top of your ears.
  • The top of the headrest should not be below the top of your head when properly adjusted.
  • When sitting straight up, the front of the headrest should be about 5 cm away from the back of your head. Your headrest should not be more than 10 cm from the back of your head.

The few moments it takes to follow these simple steps will ensure that you and your passengers are maximizing the protection your headrests were designed to offer.

When you are injured in an accident

Whiplash and other debilitating injuries suffered in an accident could entitle you to compensation. The personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamondhave successfully handled claims on behalf of injured victims.Our 24/7 injury hotline is available at 1-800-567-HURT or you can visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices are located throughout Ontario.

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