What is being done to prevent whiplash injuries!

by allan46 on January 26, 2011

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said in 2008 that insurance companies where receiving almost 1,200 whiplash compensation claims every day. This was estimated as being worth around £2bn a year in whiplash compensation claim payouts. But the cost on society does not end there as it was also estimated that whiplash injuries themselves cost the NHS an estimated £8m a year.

With such a high cost being involved it is not surprising that pressure has been brought to bear on car manufacturers to look at ways of protecting drivers and passengers from whiplash injuries especially involving high-speed rear-end collisions.

Car manufacturers have focused their efforts on preventive measures and these efforts have been focused primarily on the introduction of head restraints or also known as headrests and  the design of car seats, how they are made, shape, materials used and shock absorption in the event of a crash.

Though full credit has to be given to the car and vehicle manufacturers for the introduction of these refinements, to date the whiplash injury reducing effects of head restraints appears to have been low, approximately 5% to 10%. This is because car seats have become firmer so that they can with stand better high-speed rear-end collisions however this development could have in turn increased the risk of whiplash injury in low-speed rear impact collisions.

The AA’s advice though is clear in that they say, car drivers could reduce the risk of whiplash injuries and symptoms by ensuring that they have adjusted their head restraints to the right height.

As mentioned above it has not all been about the introduction of head rests as other improvements have been made to the style / geometry of car seats through better design and improved energy absorption. Active devices now move the occupants body in a car crash in order to shift the loads on the car seat.

Below are some of the refinements that have been introduced by manufacturers to their cars :

Saab (Responsible for the first active head restraint), Opel, Ford, Nissan, Subaru, Hyundai, and Peugeot – Active Head restraint (SAHR),


Volvo and Jaguar – Whiplash Protection System / Whiplash Prevention System (WHIPS), and


Toyota – Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL). One study found that an active head restraint system helps reduce the risk of neck injuries by up to 75% in rear-end collisions.


A final thought : When was the last time you checked the position of your car’s headrest ?

With over ten years experience in the personal injury field, we at Whiplash Compensation Online can put you in touch with one of our hand picked solicitors, who will assess your claim for free and on agreeing to proceed, will do so on a No Win No Fee basis, where you will get to keep 100% of the compensation that has been awarded to you.So don’t delay – start your whiplash compensation claim online today by visiting us at http://www.whiplashcompensationonline.co.uk
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