Just the thought of a rear-end collision makes most drivers cringe, and for good reason whiplash, neck or back pain are common problems even in low speed wrecks.
But, there are some simple things you can do to protect yourself.
From behind or from the side, human crash tests video from the spine institute research center..shows why as many as half-a million americans each year are said to seek medical help for whiplash related injuries.
(sot: arthur croft/ spine research institute)
"Neck pain, headache, balance disorders, dizziness, sometimes ringing in the ear are preventable symptoms, even if crashes aren't," says Dr. Arthur Croft of the Spine Research Institute.
"We can prevent whiplash- not 100% but we can reduce it significantly, it all comes down to head restraint geometry," adds Croft.
It's not as hard as it sounds the head restraint needs to be as high as the top of your head and as
close to the back of your neck as possible. Locking a head restraint in place could save your neck from serious injury.
A bigger vehicle offers more protection--but you can prepare for impact
in any size car.
"So you're at a red light, where 80% of these happen, and somehow you get an indication that you're about to be rear ended. You either hear screeching tires or you see something in the rear view mirror," says Croft.
So here's what you do, "Put your hands flat on the wheel, shoulders back, head back into the
restraint- look toward the top of the windshield. And brace-- put your foot on the brake-- (and scream--aahhh)," explains Croft.
Screaming is optional but with practice Croft says you won't hurt so much from crashes.