Whiplash in most cases is the result of being hit in a rear end auto accident. When this happens your head is thrown forward and then backwards in a whipping motion. Your head usually ends up hitting the head rest on your car seat. We always think about what to do after the fact, but never what to do before it even happens to either prevent it, or to limit the pain and stiffness associated with whiplash.
Airbags protect us from front, and side impacts. The headrest that people never really even think about adjusting protects us or limits our injury from being hit in the rear. The majority of people driving today on America’s highways don’t even think about adjusting the headrest. A good headrest will have adjustments that will allow it to move forward, tilt, and go up and down.
Headrest are something that we usually never even consider when purchasing a new car. It’s important to adjust your headrest so in the event of a collision, you can limit to movement of your neck. We are not saying you wont be injured, but a well adjusted headrest will certainly limit or eliminate your whiplash injury.
Riding with your seat reclined, think again!
A lot of young people will ride with there seats reclined back. You ever wondered what would happen to these people if they had an accident? Seating position in your car is important as well as the adjustment of your head rest. Your seat really should not be reclined more than 15 degrees. Your head rest should almost touch the back of your head. If your headrest is adjusted any further back from your head, it may not be as effective.
Your headrest is more effective the closer it is to the back of your head. Make sure the top of the headrest is even with the top of your head with you sitting in the seat. Could you imagine what would happen to your neck if your headrest was adjusted to low. You don’t want to allow your head to whip over the top of the head rest, this could cause further injury.
“The goal is for you to hit the airbag, not for the airbag to hit you”
Airbags come in every new car sold in the United States. Airbags are located in various places in a vehicle. They usually are in the steering wheel, passenger side dash area, they may be in the sides of the trim panels. Airbags work in conjunction with seat belts to prevent injuries. Adjusting your seat so that your chest is what would hit the airbag instead of your head is important as well.
How many of you have seen smaller people adjust their seat so there chest is less than 6 inches from the steering wheel?
If your airbag deploys and you are a little to close, several things could happen. Your airbag needs distance to fully expand, if you in to close, it may not do this. You also may suffer from abrasions or airbag burns to your arms or face. Make sure that your seat is far enough away. Passenger seat airbags have more more space to open up and tend to be larger than drivers side airbags. Make sure your passengers are seated away from the area the air bag would deploy. Have you ever seen the warning labels with, age, and weight requirements for people seating in the passenger front seat?
I have personally seen people do this. They hang their feet out the window and rest them on the mirror. I have seen people rest their feet on the dashboard reading a book on a long trip. How do you think they are going to fare when they are involved in a head on collision. It is highly likely if you have your feet on the dash and are hit head on, you are going to have severe injuries from the collision as well as air bag deployment.
What can you do to prevent whiplash or injury in an auto accident
- Adjust your head rest properly
- Adjust your seat correctly
- Wear your seat belt
- As the driver you are responsible for your passengers safety, make sure they buckle up
If you have suffered whiplash or any other injury in auto accident, find a doctor who can treat your injuries. If we do not have one listed in your area or near you, contact us