Summer vacations are right around the corner, which means, long hours spent in the car for many. You want to enjoy your vacation and arrive at your destination safely. Unfortunately, not all car rides go as planned. According to Consumer Reports, a rear-end crash occurs every 17 seconds in the U.S.A. Rear-end crashes can also lead to whiplash when your neck is not protected. “Whiplash is a sudden, moderate-to-severe strain affecting the bones, discs, muscles, nerves, or tendons of the neck (Medical Dictionary.” An article in Consumer Reports provided some of the best ways to prevent whiplash.
- Adjust the head restraint: The top of the headrest should reach the top of your ears and as close as possible to the back of your head.
- Don’t forget to wear your seatbelt: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts are the single most effective traffic safety device for preventing death and injury and can reduce the risk of crash injuries by 50 percent (NHTSA). It also helps to keep you in position and can keep your neck from quick sudden movements.
- Sit upright: if you are not sitting upright and against the headrest, how is it supposed to keep you from a neck injury?
- Position yourself for a crash: If you see a crash coming—or hear the squeal of tires behind you—and have time to react, lean back so that your head is touching the head restraint and look straight ahead. This will minimize any whiplash effect (Consumer Reports).
Unfortunately, not all accidents can be prevented, however, whiplash can. The neck is the most susceptible region of the spine when it comes to trauma such as a car accident. This is why it is so important to take all preventative measures to protect your neck and spine.