Most people don’t give headrests a second thought when climbing into a car, and they are probably one of the most overlooked safety features. Headrests don’t just hinder rear visibility and give you a comfortable place to rest your head in the car they play an important role in protecting the head and neck in a vehicle crash and help prevent injuries like whiplash. The following tips will explain how to properly set and adjust the headrest in your vehicle. They are important, whether you’re a driver or a passenger:

What is the Proper Height for Your vehicle Headrest?

You probably only adjust your headrest for comfort, but did you know its height can also impact its effectiveness? Here’s how to make sure it’s properly positioned.

  1. Keep the top of your headrest level with the top of your head
  2. Keep the middle of the headrest level with your ears
  3. Keep the distance between the back of your neck and your headrest to 3–4 inches
  4. Finally, adjusting your seat’s recline angle could help shorten the distance between the headrest and your head.

How Well Do Headrests Prevent Neck Injuries?

Headrests are designed to prevent neck injuries in rear-end collisions by keeping your head and neck aligned with your torso as your body moves forward. Whiplash injuries occur with a sudden movement of the head, often a quick back-and-forth motion. In the event of a rear-end crash, your head will swing forward and then backwards. If your headrest is too low, your head won’t be properly protected.

While your headrest alone isn’t guaranteed to totally prevent an injury, it is designed to work with your vehicle’s other safety features to be as effective as possible.