November 21, 2002 by Canadian Underwriter
Following research into the improper adjustment of headrests and their role in soft tissue injuries, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is launching a national awareness campaign.
The three-year campaign, “Rest up! Save your neck.” is aimed at teaching drivers how to properly adjust headrests and stressing their importance in preventing injury.
“Whiplash and other related injuries can hurt anyone,” says Stan Griffin, president and CEO of IBC. “These injuries are painful for auto accident victims and can end up being costly for insurance policyholders.”
The IBC’s study on headrest use reveals that on 14% of drivers had their headrests in the “good” position. More women than men had proper placements. And 53% of drivers had headrests so improperly adjusted that it would not protect them in the event of a collision.
Soft tissue injuries are largely preventable, given that about 75% of the headrests in vehicles today are adjustable rather than fixed,” says Griffin.
Such injuries cost insurers about $4 billion annually, and about 80% are caused by rear-end collisions.
The proper position is to raise the headrest so that it is level to the top of the head, and 5-10cm from the back of the head. The IBC speculates that proper adjustment could reduce injuries by 40%.