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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