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What can be done to prevent whiplash?
From a Public Health point of view, it warrants we pay attention to:
- Looking for ways to reduce crashes altogether.
- Working to improve the crashworthiness of current vehicles--both in terms of low speed crashes and the high speed range.
- And to continue to research ways to improve the efficacy of treatment for those injured in these crashes.
While it is not always possible to prevent accidents, advances in automobile safety have attempted to reduce the associated risks. Many advances in seat belts and head restraints have been able to reduce the risk of whiplash injury. The proper use of these devices is crucial to their success in preventing injury. Head restraints are designed to prevent the head from moving into hyperextension when struck from behind.
In order for this to work properly, the head restraint should be optimally positioned directly behind the head. If the head restraint is lowered below the level of the head it could actually force the head into further hyperextension after an impact. Many automobiles have additional safety equipment including air bags and air curtains to further protect drivers and passengers from injury.
Safety Systems Used To Prevent Injury
The bag deployment and inflation should be complete before the occupant makes contact with the bag.
Shoulder and lap belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45% and the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50%.
The Antilock Brake (ABS) was designed to allow maximal brake application under emergency conditions, and thereby preserving steering and vehicle control.
In a recent study, 95.6% of all participants had at least one error which could reduce the seat's protection of its occupant from injury in a crash.
Reduce the differential motion between the head and the torso in the event of a rear impact crash. There are correct and incorrect ways of adjusting headrests. Proper and improper positions are shown below. The first picture illustrates how an individual’s head could extend over the top of the headrest. The ideal position shows how the head would be supported if it were to extend back.