The neck is one part of the body that is vulnerable during car accidents. According to studies, a rear-end crash takes place every 17 seconds. Within that very short period, your head might have already snapped back with such force that it left your neck damaged. This type of injury is more commonly known as whiplash and medical experts claim that taller people are most susceptible.
The Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says that approximately 2 million whiplash claims are filed annually. Around 200,000 of those cases required long-term medical care. IIHS is the same organization conducting a head-restraint effectiveness tests since 2004. They release the results to the public. This works to our favor because manufacturers become even more motivated to improve quality of head restraints.
Tips to keep you safe
In 2012, IIHS found out that 80% of cars provide good front head restraints. The downside to this is that those driving older models may have less advanced or inadequate protection from neck injuries. We don't need to rely on automobile manufacturers to keeping us protected. We can also do something to help reduce neck injuries during car accidents. These include:
- Adjust restraints. First, restraints should be properly positioned so they can provide maximum whiplash protection. The top of the restraint should extend up or on the same level as the top of your head. It should also be at least 3 inches from the back your head. You can achieve this distance by reclining the chair. The closer your head is to the restraint, the better.
- Buckle up. Always wear your seat belt as it is the single equipment in the car that will help save your life by holding you stationary during sudden brakes or impacts.
- Stay alert. Also, avoid leaning sideways when driving. Otherwise, the head restraint won't be able to offer much help.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I suggest that you look into evaluations shared by reputable agencies. They will inform you of which vehicles have which safety feature. They will also record how cars perform in crash tests. It's important to protect yourself and your loved ones in the event of an accident. Always wear your seat belt and stay focused on the road.