A good head restraint can help prevent whiplash.
November 10, 2015
Good head restraints cut injuries
An updated HLDI-IIHS analysis shows that injury rates are 11 percent lower in rear crashes when vehicles are equipped with good head restraints compared with poor ones.
March 15, 2008
Good rear ratings mean less whiplash
The rate of neck injury complaints is lower in cars and SUVs with seat/head restraint combinations that are rated good by the Institute than those rated poor.
August 4, 2007
Head restraints make big strides
Cars and SUVs have shown big improvements in their head restraints and seats since the Institute first started evaluating them, but pickups and minivans lag behind.
July 3, 2007
SUVs, pickups & minivans lack adequate head restraints
The latest evaluations of occupant protection in rear-end collisions by IIHS found that the seats and head restraints in more than half of light truck and minivan models fall short of state-of-the-art protection from neck injury or whiplash.
April 5, 2007
Rear crash protection is poor or marginal in most cars
Seat/head restraint designs in 22 current car models are rated good for rear crash protection, but those in 53 other cars are rated marginal or poor. The latest evaluations of occupant protection in rear-end collisions by IIHS found that the seat/head restraints in more than 60 percent of car models fall short of current state-of-the-art protection from neck injury or whiplash.
January 8, 2006
Most SUVs and pickups have poor rear crash protection
Only six of the seat/head restraint combinations in 44 current model SUVs are rated good for protection against whiplash injuries in rear-end crashes. None of the seat/head restraint designs in 15 pickup truck models earns a good rating. This is the first time IIHS has tested SUV and pickup seats using a dummy that can measure forces on the neck during a simulated rear-end crash.
September 18, 2005
Most minivans have inadequate rear crash protection
The seat/head restraints in most current minivan models are marginal or poor. Only the Ford Freestar and its twin Mercury Monterey earn good overall ratings for rear crash protection. Those in some Dodge Grand Caravan/Chrysler Town & Country models are rated acceptable.
January 31, 2005
New rule will improve head restraints
A new federal requirement will force automakers to improve the position of head restraints to better protect occupants from whiplash injuries.
November 20, 2004
Cars sold in Europe earn better ratings
Among seat/head restraints the Institute evaluated in dynamic tests, more are rated poor overallthan good or acceptable. Proportions are better in Europe.
November 14, 2004
Most seats and head restraints get poor ratings
Using a new dynamic test and a dummy designed especially for rear impact testing, IIHS has rated 73 seat/head restraint combinations available in 63 car models sold in the U.S. market. Only eight are rated good for whiplash prevention, while 54 are poor.
September 25, 2003
Head restraints get better at preventing whiplash
The designs of head restraints in an increasing number of passenger vehicles are improving so that many occupants are better protected from whiplash injury in rear-end crashes. In 1995, 82 percent of new passenger vehicles had head restraints rated poor by IIHS. In the 2003 model year 45 percent of passenger vehicles had head restraints rated good, and only 10 percent had poor ones.
Few drivers adjust head restraints
Although automakers are improving head restraints, many people aren't benefiting from the changes because they leave their adjustable head restraints in the lowest position.
How head restraints are rated
To rate head restraints, IIHS measures from the top of an average-size man's head to the top of the restraint and from the back of the head to the front of the restraint.
October 22, 2002
Redesigned seats and head restraints reduce whiplash
For a long time, most of the head restraints in passenger vehicles weren't high enough or close enough to the backs of many occupants' heads to provide effective protection against neck injury in rear-end crashes. Now some new designs of seats and head restraints are reducing neck injuries among car occupants involved in rear-end crashes.
June 8, 2002
New sled will expand testing
The Vehicle Research Center's new HyperG sled will be used first to compare head restraints and seats for whiplash prevention.
October 4, 2001
Head restraints improve: Most are good or acceptable
The latest ratings of head restraints in more than 200 passenger vehicles indicate these devices are getting better. Twenty-nine percent of the vehicles, all 2001 models, have head restraints rated good, and another 24 percent have acceptable head restraints. This is the first time that more than half of all new passenger vehicles offer restraints rated good or acceptable.
June 3, 1999
Head restraint designs improve in 1999 models
The head restraints in about a third of all 1999 passenger vehicles are poorly designed. Only 1 in 20 of 1999 cars, pickups and SUVs earns a good rating for head restraint design. Disappointing as these findings are, they represent an improvement over 1997 models, half of which were equipped with head restraints rated poor.
May 22, 1999
Understanding the fundamentals of whiplash injuries points toward effective prevention strategies
December 8, 1998
New Volvo seatback and head restraint reduce whiplash
The first U.S. crash tests conducted with the world's most advanced rear impact dummy show that the new seatback/head restraint combination in the Volvo S80 successfully reduces the sudden motion of the head that causes many whiplash injuries. The new design represents an improvement even when compared with other Volvos, which are among the best designs for whiplash injury prevention.
September 22, 1998
Head restraints with good ratings reduce neck injuries
Car head restraints that are high and positioned close to the backs of drivers' heads reduce whiplash-type neck injuries in crashes, a new study shows. The research was conducted jointly by IIHS and State Farm.
April 12, 1997
How bad are they? Only five passenger vehicles have head restraints with good geometry; more than half of the restraints are poor
April 8, 1997
Most passenger vehicles have poor head restraints
In the most comprehensive evaluation of head restraint designs, IIHS has found that more than half of all 1997 passenger vehicles measured have poor restraints. Fewer than 3 percent have head restraint designs with good geometry.
September 16, 1995
Saving our necks in car crashes
©1996-2016, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute | www.iihs.org
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