Many SUV And Truck Headrests Suck, Don't Protect Against Injury From Rear Collisions

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety many SUV and pickup trucks have inadequate protection against common neck injuries sustained during rear collisions. A few were so obviously inadequate that they didn’t even need to be tested, like the “Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Classic” and the “Dodge Ram 1500.”

Why should you care? Because you’re more likely to need the protection of a headrest than you are an airbag. Rear collisions are common. The above painfully boring, yet awesome, video from the folks at the IIHS shows a failed test of a 2007 Dodge Nitro seat. (Hey, we like crash test dummies, ok?) You can see that the head is not supported from behind, which would cause the dummy to sustain neck injuries and have to wear one of those embarrassing neck brace things to school the next day.

Also worth noting is that even “good” headrests won’t work if they’re not adjusted correctly. According to the IIHS, the headrest should be positioned up around the passengers ears. Tall passengers are especially vulnerable to these sorts of whiplash injuries, because their heads are often above the support if it is not designed well (Ahem, Dodge Ram) or adjusted incorrectly.

Rear Crash Protection in SUVs, Trucks, Minivans (PDF) [IIHS]