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Here's Why You Should Adjust Your Headrest Before Driving

Once inside their cars, most drivers don't give their headrest a second thought before taking off. Despite the headrests being standard in most automobiles nowadays, they are a forgotten treasure for most people. The headrest isn't just made to be a comfortable holder to lay your head on. In fact, they are a safety feature that is supposed to protect your head and neck during an accident. Contemporary car models have evolved with more cushioned seats that are ergonomically shaped to fit your body; however, the headrest has always remained awkward yet fundamental to protect your rotation. 


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, whiplash and neck injuries are the most common reported injuries in automotive insurance claims. Most often, instances of whiplash occur during rear-end vehicle collisions. When a car is hit from the back, the driver's torso moves forward so suddenly that their head lags in movement. The headrest helps prevent whiplash by stopping your head from yanking back and pushing it forwards towards your spin. The headrest also prevents spinal cord injury by controlling the movement of your head. When the headrest is correctly aligned to your body, there's an improvement in safety for you and your passengers. Below are several tips to properly fix and adjust the headrest of your vehicle: 

  • The bottom of the headrest should be level to the base of your head, where the head and upper neck join.
  • In the case of a collision, the headrest should make contact with your head, not your back or neck. 
  • The headrest should be 2-3 inches behind your head. To fix the alignment, try adjusting the seat recline angle to help maintain this distance. 

Proper headrest positioning is imperative. Your headrest can be altered to go down, up, and tilted forward. An adjusted headrest will offer maximum protection against whiplash and severe injury. It only takes several seconds to make an adjustment towards a safer drive. If you require any auto maintenance or repairs, do not hesitate to contact Portland Automotive for the job.