Most people don’t give the car headrest a second thought. Yet, this feature can be just as important as a seat belt in preventing injury from an accident. The proper adjustment in height works with the seat belt to prevent whiplash injuries. Studies have shown that one in three people leave the head restraint in the down position which offers no protection from a neck injury. Testing has shown without a head restraint, the head will jerk back as the torso moves forward during a rear-end collision.
There has been a concern that some headrests are uncomfortable because the person cannot sit flat against the seat. Occasionally, drivers and passengers will remove the headrest and turn it around so the flat side of the head restraint is facing forward. This allows the person to sit flat against the seat. This method is not recommended. The notch which locks in the headrest will not be in the correct location. The headrest can be ejected and become a flying object in the vehicle if not locked in position.
Always adjust your headrest to be close behind your head, not in back of your neck, for the most protection in the event of a rear end collision. The rule of thumb is to align the headrest to the top of your ears or as high as possible while still being comfortable. The owner’s manual has more information for proper headrest adjustment in your particular vehicle.
Modern headrests are designed specifically for each type of vehicle and should be comfortable for drivers and passengers. There are enough adjustments available so removal of the head restraints is unnecessary even when using a child safety car seat. Visit your local new car dealer in Olympia to see the new generation of adjustable front and rear headrests.
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