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.
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
Dynamic head restraint testing begins
The Institute has rated 73 seat/head restraint combinations for rear crash protection using a new dynamic test and a special dummy.
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.
September 25, 2003
Head restraints are improving
When the Institute began rating head restraints in 1995, only 3 percent of vehicles had good ones. By 2003, that number was up to 45 percent.
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 26, 2002
New head restraint designs cut injuries
Active head restraints and other improved designs are reducing neck injury claim rates, a new Institute study shows.
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 6, 2001
Head restraint ratings improve
For the first time since the Institute began rating head restraints, more than half of all new passenger vehicles offer restraints that are rated good or acceptable.
Geometry is the basis for most head restraint ratings under an international protocol.
Institute gets new test sled
A new crash test sled at the Vehicle Research Center will allow for dynamic testing of head restraints and seats, as well as other testing that doesn't require a whole vehicle.
April 28, 2001
Head restraint rule would cut injuries
A proposed upgrade to the federal standard on head restraints likely would reduce neck injuries, but a dynamic-testing option included in the proposal could compromise safety.
Global whiplash group works on standard
An international group of researchers is working to develop procedures for dynamic head restraint tests.
May 22, 1999
Understanding the fundamentals of whiplash injuries points toward effective prevention strategies
©1996-2016, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute | www.iihs.org
Subscribe to news updates
Watch our channel
Mobile ratings & news