Whiplash and prevention

A whiplash is caused by a sudden and violent movement of the head in relation to the torso. Whiplash injury is a combination of pain in the neck, pain in the head, and other health complaints. Annually, an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 people in the Netherlands incur whiplash due to a traffic crash, women more than men. Around 70,000 people suffer from whiplash complaints due to a road crash in the recent or less recent past. Whiplash complaints last longer for women than for men, and whiplash claims amount to 40 per cent of the total costs of personal injury claims in the Netherlands. Whiplash is often caused by a rear-end collision in road traffic. Keeping sufficient distance and braking timely and quietly can help to avoid this type of crash. In case a rear-end collision does occur, the head rest needs to be adjusted at the right height (the top of the head rest must be on equal height with the top of the head), and the horizontal distance between head and head rest must be a maximum of 5 centimetres. Measurements show that correct adjustment leaves much to be desired; informing the public about this topic is recommended. Since 2009, tests focussing on head rests have been included in the EuroNCAP crash tests and these tests contribute to the total score; this is a positive development.


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  • Pagination: 6p

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01385275
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 22 2012 6:47PM