CAR REAR IMPACTS AND THE NEED FOR HEAD-RESTS

A discussion is presented of evidence issued by TRRL as to the frequency of car rear impacts and resulting whiplash neck injuries. Investigations carried out by the TRRL crash injury team suggest that rear passengers may not often suffer neck whiplash, their injuries mostly resulting from structural collapse of the rears of their vehicles. Among 'slight' injuries neck whiplash seems to be a common situation. Most experts consider that headrests, high seat backs etc are the means by which whiplash injuries may be prevented. The headrest must be sufficiently stiff and yet be padded; it must also stop the head in angled rear impacts. This conflicts with the need for the driver to have a good field of view from his interior mirror and for rear passengers to see forwards. A comparison of the costs of headrests and the economic benefits due to saving whiplash neck injury suggests that the additional costs of fitting two extended seat backs or headrests would have to be of the order of 1 pound sterling for costs to balance benefits. /TRRL/

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Jour of the Inst of Automotive Eng Assessors, Inc

    1 Birdcage Walk, Westminster
    London SW1H 9JJ,   England 
  • Publication Date: 1977

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00179187
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 27 1978 12:00AM