Drivers reminded to adjust headrests
By Glenn Cooper
(NC)—While buckling seatbelts is second nature when getting into a car, how many of us think to adjust the headrest? Reports show that headrests are one of the most overlooked safety features in motor vehicles today and many don't realize the important role they play in preventing neck, brain and spinal cord related injuries.
“Headrests are designed to work alongside the seatbelt so that when an accident occurs it prevents the head from twisting backwards, which subsequently results in whiplash,” explains Mauro Convertini, an insurance and claims expert at Aviva Canada. “Drivers can sustain an injury from an incorrectly adjusted headrest even at speeds as low as 15 kilometres per hour—the same speed as the average bicycle.”
According to an Insurance Bureau of Canada study, only 14 per cent of drivers on the road have their headrests in the proper position. With whiplash being the most common soft tissue injury in auto collisions, it underscores the importance for all passengers to adjust their headrests properly.
Convertini recommends that drivers follow three simple steps in order to prevent injuries associated with improper headrest position:
• The top of the headrest should be in a straight line with the top of your head.
• Position the centre of your headrest so that it is slightly above the top of the ear.
• Ensure that the distance between the headrest and the back of the head is between five and 10 centimetres.
For families with multiple drivers, the next time you get into your vehicle, do take time to adjust the headrest before you turn the key. More information is available from your insurance broker, or online at avivacanada.com.
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