Drivers in Roanoke, Rocky Mount and surrounding areas in Franklin County, VA could become involved in a rear-end motorcycle accident at any moment. In fact, according to Consumer Reports, a rear-end accident occurs an average of once every 17 seconds within the United States.
Despite the fact that so many rear-end accidents occur, a personal injury lawyer knows that many older vehicles offer limited protection from the most common cause of injury after a rear-end collision: whiplash.
How to Protect Your Neck in a Motor Vehicle Accident
When a rear-end car crash occurs, you could be thrown forward rapidly and then thrown rapidly backward. This snapping motion of your head and body can cause the neck to hyperextend. This, in turn, can cause damage to the nerves and to the ligaments. The snapping process is called whiplash, and the resulting symptoms are also called whiplash. These symptoms may include lack of mobility as well as chronic and persistent pain.
It does not take a major motor vehicle accident to cause this type of damage to the body. Even a crash where the vehicles are going just 10 miles per hour can result in whiplash occurring. This may help to explain why neck sprains and strains are the most commonly reported injuries each year according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
There have been advances made in head-restraints to prevent whiplash from occurring. While almost half of front head restraints received a "Poor" rating in the IIHS's 2004 and 2005 vehicle rating programs, now most head restraint systems get better marks. In 2014, for example, none of the head restraints got a "Poor" rating. In fact, 95 percent were considered to be "Good," which means they are more effective at preventing potentially serious injuries. The improvement comes, in part, because federal standards in 2005 set minimum restraint height and limited the permissible distance between a person's head an the front restraint.
Since there has been such a big shift in how effective head restraints are for front seats, motorists whose vehicles are older than around 2009 may wish to consider whether it is time to upgrade to a newer vehicle that incorporates many of the safety-features developed in recent years.
Regardless of whether you drive a vehicle with updated head restraints or not, there are ways you can try to protect your neck so you avoid injury. One of the most important relates to how you sit in your car and how you petition your head restraint.
The top of the restraint needs to reach at least up to the top of your ears, and it should preferably reach all the way up to the top of your head. It should also be within four inches or less from your head. Since most vehicles have adjustable restraints, you can raise or lower your head restraints to the correct height and reduce your risk of serious neck injury if a rear-end accident happens.
If you have been harmed, contact Davis, Davis, Davis & Davis, PC today at 866-434-1581 or visit https://www.davislawfirm.com to schedule a consultation. Serving Roanoke, Rocky Mount and surrounding areas in Franklin County, VA.