The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS),  reports that neck pain resulting from whiplash is the most common moving vehicle accident injury.

Rear-end vehicle collisions are the most common cause of this type of injury. Several factors help determine how severe this injury can be. Your height, your gender, seating and and headrest position in your vehicle can be factors. While you can’t do much about the first three issues, you can make some small changes to offer a great level of injury protection.

Height

Your height determines your head’s proximity to your vehicle’s head restraints. A short person may not need to adjust the head restraint to be protected, but a taller person’s head may be too high for the head restraint to offer much protection. Make you you adjust this to the proper height for your own height. The top of the headrest should be at the top of your head.

Gender

Studies show that women are two times more likely to suffer a neck injury in a vehicle accident, and they are more likely to develop long-term complications than males. We suspect this is simply due to the neck’s musculature. Men have larger more developed muscles (in general) than women. If you bring some simple routines to strengthen and support your neck muscles into your workout, the result may offer a measure of protection from injury.

Driver or Passenger

When  you drive your vehicle, you are often in a more tense, upright position. Some people may lean forward, closer to the steering wheel. A passenger is usually more relaxed and sit in a more natural position, lending some flexibility that might make a difference. Try to position your seat and your mirrors to offer the best view of the road, play soothing music and try drive in a more comfortable position. You will feel better overall.

Head Restraint Positioning

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has established safer head restraint positioning, and cars built after 2011 should be in compliance. The ideal position for head restraints is even with the top of the head. If the restraint cannot be adjusted to that height, it should be positioned at least 3.5 inches below the top of the head or level with the top of the ears. The horizontal position of the restraint is also important. The distance between the head and the restraint should be less than four inches. If your car is not equipped with horizontally adjusting head restraints, you can adjust that distance by changing the recline angle of seat.

Of course if you suffer a debilitating injury from an auto accident, we are here to help. From chiropractic care to acupuncture pain relief and physical rehabilitation, Dr. Panopoulos and Dr. Stasinos at Active Health can get you on the path to wellness. Call (847) 739-3120‎ to set an appointment today.

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