Whiplash injuries are sadly all too common in even relatively minor road accidents and although they cannot be avoided altogether you can minimise the severity at the very least by making sure that your seatbelt is correctly fitted and that your head rest is positioned just right. Accident Advice Helpline gets a lot of calls from people who have sustained whiplash injuries and it is remarkable how often there has been little or no damage to the car.
Seatbelts and head rests
Seatbelts nowadays are normally adjustable at several points and it is important to get it right. The seatbelt should come over the shoulder comfortably and should certainly not be pressing on the neck. It should pass over the lap at the top of the leg and be securely fitted to the connection point. The seatbelt should not have been damaged in any way (for example by being shut repeatedly in the door) and it should be replaced if the car has been in an accident. The head rest should be positioned so that when your head is in the driving position it is level with the point on your neck where your skull joins the vertebrae. This is easy to feel with your hand. Position the head rest so that it is level with that point but not touching your head – you should be able to just put your fingers in between. This also applies to passengers, of course and this adjustment should be checked every time you get in the car.
Following whiplash injuries
If you have been in an accident and fear that you or a passenger has sustained whiplash injuries don’t be tempted to get out of the car. Lean back against the head rest and try not to turn your head. Get medical advice and attendance immediately; paramedics and most doctors carry neck braces on board and they will fit one at the scene. As long as the accident is not your fault, a personal injury compensation claim is very likely to be successful and with our 100% guaranteed no win no fee* claim procedure, you don’t need to worry that claiming will cost you anything. As soon as you feel a bit better, visit our website or call our Freephone helpline to speak to one of our experienced lawyers to start your claim.