Can your headrest prevent whiplash?

Feb 21, 2012 1 minute read

Seat belts, air bags and anti-lock brakes are important safety features in your car or truck. But one of the most important safety devices is often overlooked: your head rest.

During a collision, your headrest should connect with your head, not your neck. This provides extra support especially if you are involved in a rear-end collision. But if your headrest is in the wrong position you could suffer whiplash and injury.

How do you adjust your headrest?

  1. . Align the centre of the headrest with the top of your ear;
  2. . The top of your headrest should be the same height as the top of your head;
  3. . The distance between the back of your head and the front of your headrest should be 5 to 10 centimetres (2 to 4 inches).

Image courtesy of the Insurance Bureau of Canada

Head rest tips:

  • Remember to adjust the headrest each time you switch drivers if you share your vehicle.
  • Check the headrests in the front and rear seats.
  • If you are travelling in someone else’s car, don’t be shy about adjusting the headrest. You can help your friends or family members adjust their headrests, too.
  • If your vehicle’s headrest does not move or will not reach the correct position, consider purchasing an extra headrest safety device at your local automotive parts store.