Whiplash is an injury suffered by many motorists following an accident.
It can be caused when you are rear-ended, but it can also happen if you hit another car or object.
But what does this have to do with your car’s headrests and car safety?
Here’s why you need to pay attention to them.
WHAT IS WHIPLASH?
Whiplash is what happens when you suffer an impact and your head whips backwards.
If you recall, one of the rules of physics is that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
Let’s say you are rear-ended. The force would push you and your head forward.
But after your head travels forward, it will now travel backwards – this is whiplash.
WHERE DO THE HEADRESTS COME IN?
Headrests aren’t just there to give you a comfortable ride.
In such an accident, it will “catch” your head as it “whips” backwards.
Imagine not having a headrest to do that!
If the forces are strong enough, we’d imagine you could break your neck.
This is why you must adjust your headrests correctly.
THE RIGHT HEIGHT
Adjust the headrest so that the top of it is the same height or aligned with the top of your head.
Try to minimise the distance between your head and the headrest as well.
And as for those neck pillows…
Well, they are comfortable.
But… although I’m no doctor or engineer, I have to say that cars were not designed to have neck pillows.
They may interfere in the function of the headrests.
Therefore, it is not unreasonable to think that they could make one’s injuries worse in an accident.
FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
I was once rear-ended by another SUV while I was stationary.
The car I was driving was a Renault Koleos.
The other car, a Mitsubishi Outlander, was travelling at around 30km/h.
I still remember the impact. The seat belt caught me, and the headrest caught my head.
Now, I still felt the whiplash. However, it only left me with a sore neck for about two weeks.
I did not have to go to a hospital, thanks to the headrest.