According to Consumer Reports, a rear-end collision happens every 19 seconds in the United States. Unfortunately, one of the common injuries resulting from a rear-end collision is whiplash, which can result from collisions at speeds as low as 10 mph. While you cannot always prevent another vehicle from hitting you from behind, there are steps you can take to decrease your chances of suffering whiplash if another vehicle does hit you from behind while you are driving.
- Buy a vehicle with a good rear-end crash rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety can give you front seat ratings for rear-end collisions. Make sure the rear-seat also has a good crash rating. If adults or talker children will be sitting in the back seat, make sure the rear-seat head restraints are high enough.
- Adjust the head restraint. For above-average height people, this can be difficult. When possible, the top of the head restraint should coincide with the top of the person’s head. When the head restraint will not adjust that high, it should at least be as high as the top of the person’s ears. It should also be no more than four inches back from the person’s head. An improperly positioned head restraint will not properly protect the head and neck during a crash.
- Sit upright in the middle of your seat. If you are leaning to one side or the other, your head will not properly align with the head restraint. It cannot offer proper protection if you are not positioned correctly in the seat.
- Wear your seat belt. This keeps you in place during a crash and can prevent an assortment of common vehicle crash injuries.
- If you have time to react, position yourself for impact by leaning back in your seat and making sure your head properly aligns with the head restraint.