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Millions ignorant about whiplash

11 April 2005

Tens of millions of drivers are at risk of crippling neck injuries because they do not know how to correctly adjust their head restraints.

Tens of millions are risking crippling neck injuries

Tens of millions of drivers are at risk of crippling neck injuries because they do not know how to correctly adjust their head restraints.

A survey by road-safety group Brake and breakdown-assistance provider Green Flag found 65% of motorists questioned did not know how to position their restraints to minimise whiplash injuries in a collision.

Only 35% of respondents knew that the top of a restraint needs to be in line with the top of their head. Restraints also need to be as close to the back of the head as possible.

Only one in eight drivers said they checked the position of the head restraint before starting a journey, while a third said they had never bothered at all.

Brake said insurance premiums could fall if motorists learned how to use their head restraints correctly. Whiplash injuries cost the insurance industry £1 billion a year and account for 80% of personal-injury claims.

Brake has produced free leaflets and posters explaining how to adjust head restraints and avoid painful injuries that could potentially last for life. Call 01484 559 909 for the literature or e-mail admin@brake.org.uk.

The road-safety charity also pointed out that independent test results from Thatcham are available detailing the effectiveness of different models’ restraints.

Look at the feature on whiplash on Whatcar.com to see the results of the Thatcham tests or visit www.thatcham.org.

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