All contents copyright ©, Drive and Stay Alive, Inc., 2003 onwards, unless specified otherwise. All rights reserved.
IMPORTANT: click here to read the DISCLAIMER
people understand how to properly use automobile safety devices like
seat belts, airbags and car seats, but statistics suggest the majority
of drivers are clueless when it comes to the proper positioning of
headrests. In fact, studies show that 90 percent of drivers have their
headrests adjusted too low.
can go a long way toward reducing neck injuries in the event of a
rear-end collision," notes Buzz Rodland, Chairman of the American
International Automobile Dealers Association. "But they're only
effective when positioned correctly relative to the driver's head."
rear-end collisions are more likely to occur in slippery road
conditions, now is a good time to ensure that your headrest is properly
to research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA), a correctly positioned headrest should meet the
should ideally be positioned two inches or less from the rear of the
driver's head, and never more than four inches.
adjusting for height, the bulk of the headrest should stand directly
behind the driver's head, at ears level. In the event of whiplash, the
headrest should contact your head first, not the neck.
in many older model vehicles, proper headrest adjustment is difficult if
not impossible. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety,
in 1995 only three percent of vehicles had head restraints rated
"good," while an astonishing 82 percent were rated
then, there has been a marked improvement in overall standards. In the
2003 model year, 45 percent of vehicle head restraint systems were rated
"good," while only 10 percent of systems were rated
are doing a much better job of designing safe headrests, but it's still
very important that motorists take the time to manually adjust
them," said Rodland. "Far too many people are driving with
headrests in the lowest possible position, and as a result, they aren't
getting any of the safety benefits."
For more information on proper headrest adjustment, or to learn about your vehicle's headrest safety rating, visit www.aiada.org/headrestsafety