Engineers at Loughborough University unveil a head restraint and car seat system designed to reduce whiplash in rear-end vehicle collisions.
Whiplash injuries are among the most common traumas suffered from an on road incident and although relatively harmless, they can take some time to heal, impacting on the lives of the sufferer.
The new system consists of a head restraint and seat that reacts simultaneously during the impact to provide immediate support for the head. Scientists from Loughborough University say that the car seat and head restraint have been designed to react at the same time as the driver and/or passenger's body pushes back against the seat in the event of a car hitting the back of your vehicle.
The scientists mention that this helps limit the different movements between the person’s head and torso that can cause whiplash injuries when such accidents occur.
Memis Acar, Professor of Mechanics in the Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, said: "A Combined reactive seat and head restraint system is designed to reduce the whiplash risk, in conjunction with a seat damper absorbing impact energy from the collision."
Acar, the project leader, went on to mention that it does this "by reducing the relative motion between the head and the torso and brining the head restraint closer to the head before whiplash can take effect."
The number of whiplash injury claims in the UK last year was predicted to have reached 840,000, costing the insurance industry £2 billion.
Professor Acar said: "Although whiplash is classed as a minor injury, symptoms can last a long time, impacting not only on the nation's health but also the economy.
"There is no other product in the automotive market that integrates these concepts." He continues to say: "What we are proposing is an affordable design which lends itself well to mass production for all car ranges."