Attention customers of: Intact Insurance, including Prestige; Jevco Insurance and Novex Insurance: if you’re driving less, you could be eligible for premium relief. Visit our Alerts page for more information.

Can your headrest prevent whiplash?

Published on Feb 21, 2012 | Last updated Mar 11, 2021 1 minute read

Can your headrest prevent whiplash?

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)

Ideal headrest position for car safety

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