Drivers and passengers are being urged to make sure their headrests are in the correct position, as part of the 2018 ‘Injury Prevention Day’.
The annual event is organised by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) – a not-for-profit organisation which campaigns to prevent needless injuries – with the 2018 campaign taking place tomorrow (15 August).
To mark Injury Prevention Day 2018, which uses the hashtags #IPDay18 and #headresttest on social media, APIL is urging drivers and passengers to do a simple test to ensure the headrest they are using is correctly positioned.
Brett Dixon, president of APIL, said: “Half of all car crashes in England result in a whiplash injury and some of these could be avoided, along with the resulting compensation claims.
“Your headrest can’t do its job if you haven’t adjusted it to fit you. It’s like leaving the batteries out of a smoke detector.
“To test your headrest is very simple. Make sure it is as close to the back of your head as possible, ideally touching. The top of the headrest should also be as high as the top of your head. Place your hand on top of your head to check.
“It is easy to forget, but we hope drivers will make a point of doing the headrest test this Injury Prevention Day.”
Injury Prevention Day is supported by Thatcham Research, who says the correct position of the head restraint is the ‘key factor in protecting people’ from injuries such as whiplash.
Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research, said: “We’d recommend that the next time you get in your car, check that the headrest is positioned as high as the top of the head.
“Where possible, it should also be tilted as close to the back of the head as possible. Touching the head is best. In cars where the head restraint is not adjustable, making the seat more upright can help.
“It’s also really important to remember that whiplash can occur in the back seat as well, so remember to adjust for each rear occupant. And to check this for every journey. No one passenger is the same and it needs to be tailored to fit them on every journey.”