Panter’s Pointers: Think it’s just a head rest? Think again.

It’s not just a head rest. The head restraint in a vehicle does not just help you rest your head, as a matter of fact it helps you not to break your neck in case of a collision. It is always attached to the top of the car seat. They are only effective when properly positioned.

Where should they be?

The head restraint will reduce neck injuries in case of a collision, and so it is important to have your head aligned with the headrest, but not the neck alone, as this would be extremely dangerous in case of collision.

Most cars have manually-adjustable head restraints, but they all have to be 27.5 inches above the seat reference point by law.

How do you adjust them?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to be effective, the top of the restraint should lie somewhere between the top of your ears and the top of your head. If the restraint articulates for horizontal adjustment, it should be placed so that it is as close to your head as possible, without pushing your head forward or causing the height of the restraint to drop. The position of your seatback is also important – less is better when it comes to reclining. A more upright seatback means that the head restraint will likely be in a safer position – one that is closer to your head.

This Panter’s Pointers automobile safety tip is brought to you by Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A.  For more information on motor vehicles and the law, please click here.  

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