New headrest can cut down whiplash injuries

New headrest can cut down whiplash injuries
London: A whiplash during a vehicle collision can cause bone and soft-tissue injuries that may or may not be treated effectively. However, a new type of vehicle headrest can both improve safety and comfort, say researchers. The headrest has been developed by Italian engineers and can be easily positioned so that it is always at the optimum passenger head distance to avoid whiplash injuries during a rear vehicle collision.

Federico Giorgetta, Massimiliano Gobbi, and Giampiero Mastinu of the mechanical engineering department at the Technical University in Milan worked with Renato Ravicino of Italian headrest manufacturer Gestind MB S.p.A., based in Bruzolo, to develop the new system.

"Without significant efforts in crash prevention and improvements in vehicle safety design, especially with more effective seat back and head restraint systems, the ever increasing traffic density will show a rise in this negative trend," Gobbi and colleagues explain.

Part of the problem is the drivers and their passengers are unaware of the personal harm a whiplash injury can do and usually fail to adjust their headrest to the optimum height, said a Technical University release.
Moreover, common headrests are often difficult to adjust and are pressed downwards by the head in a collision and so do nothing to save the person from injury.

These findings were reported in the International Journal of Vehicle Systems Modelling and Testing.