Preventing Whiplash Ann Arbor MI

If you've ever been involved in an automobile accident, you more than likely know the feeling of waking up the next day with a nagging soreness in your neck.

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Preventing Whiplash

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If you've ever been involved in an automobile accident, you more than likely know the feeling of waking up the next day with a nagging soreness in your neck.

That pain is known as whiplash, and is a common injury following an accident, especially a rear-end collision.

While it may be common, whiplash is an injury that can be far less severe (and sometimes prevented entirely) depending on the type of headrest in your vehicle and whether it is properly adjusted. Indeed, the term headrest is really quite misleading. Headrests are not designed for resting your head; its true purpose is to protect your head from moving too far backward in a rear-end collision. In other words, it's there to reduce whiplash. In fact, safety experts and automakers instead refer to them as head restraints.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS, www.iihs.org), one of two groups in the United States that provide consumers with crash test ratings, began studying the effectiveness of head restraints in 1995. At that time, only five models were designated "Good" (the Institute's highest of four scores) with regard to their head restraints. To determine the ratings, the Institute uses a static test that measures a crash test dummy's head position in relation to the head restraint; what the Institute refers to as head restraint "geometry." Since that time, head restraints have improved dramatically. For 2004 model-year vehicles, the IIHS reported that 80 percent of models had "Good" or "Acceptable" ratings for head restraints.

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