Did you know that your car seat can affect the likelihood of injuring your neck in an auto accident? Well we are going to be discussing the chances in today’s article.
Today’s study comes from Active Bioengineering and Biomechanics Journal from February 2017. It notes that most studies for whiplash look at the likelihood of injury in an accident when the dummy or subject’s head is placed on the headrest. That is an unrealistic position for most people to be driving. Now, they note this and say it is a little inaccurate.
So they did another study where they placed the head in two different positions in what they called forward body lean. They did one at ten degrees forward from center, and another one at 20 degrees (slightly more forward from center). From doing this, they found some interesting things. (They chose the 10 and 20 degrees angles because they were considered the most common angles that people’s heads were found to be positioned when they set themselves up in a car seat).
They found that if the head was forward, the likelihood of injury in an auto accident was increased for the capsular ligaments of the neck. If the body and the head were forwards leaning, that increased the likelihood of complete cervical injury. So with the head slightly forward and back from the seat, capsular ligament injury, and with the whole body forward and away from the seat and headrest, cervical injury.
Knowing this information as you set up your car seat, you should always remember to set up the head rest. It’s very important that the seat allows you to have the headrest. They recommend one to two inches from the headrest. The best way to do this is by taking two fingers and placing them behind your head when you’re in your normal seated position and ask yourself, is this touching the headrest? If it is, that is a good indication that you are a good distance away.
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