A rear-end crash occurs every 17 seconds in the United States, and a majority of these accidents result in a common neck injury known as whiplash. Whiplash refers to the rapid snapping back of a person’s head during a collision, which hyperextends the neck and damages muscles, nerves, and ligaments. If you’ve already suffered whiplash, consult with a car accident lawyer near Annapolis to determine whether you have a personal injury claim against the other driver. If you’ve yet to suffer whiplash, or if you want to reduce your risk of suffering whiplash again in the future, check out these tips on how to save your neck in a rear-end car accident.
Adjust the Head Restraint
The head restraint, or head rest, is your best form of protection against whiplash. No matter what type of vehicle you drive, you’ll get maximum whiplash protection if your head restraint is properly adjusted prior to a rear-end collision. To reduce your risk of whiplash, the top of the restraint should reach at least as high as the top of your ears and be relatively close to the back of your head. A head restraint that’s too far back or too low will not protect your head and neck in a crash and may even exacerbate the injuries you sustain.
Wear Your Seatbelt
You’re probably tired of hearing this by now, but it’s critical that you wear your seatbelt. The seatbelt will help you stay in a safe position during a crash, thereby reducing your risk of whiplash. Wearing your seatbelt will also help reduce your risk of suffering many other common car crash injuries, including spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
Buy a Safer Car
If you really want to reduce your risk of whiplash and other injuries in an auto accident, you should make sure the car you’re driving is safe. Check with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to see how safe your car is in a number of different areas, such as front-seat and rear-seat head restraint safety. If you’ve been in an accident and believe an unsafe vehicle feature or defect caused your injury, speak with a car accident lawyer in Baltimore to see if you can bring a personal injury claim against your car’s manufacturer.