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Safety Technology, Automotive News
Dec 28, 2009 (5:43 pm)
Edmunds editor writing about head restraints (a.k.a. head rest) would like to email or speak with someone asap who drives a fairly late-model vehicle and who has suffered whiplash. Please send email to karenedmunds.com if you fit that description and would like to talk.
#11 of 39 Re: New Head Restraints – Safety, Torture, or Both? [KarenS]
Jan 02, 2010 (2:41 am)
Lil' safety and a lot of torture
#12 of 39 Comfort and Safety Tradeoffs
Jan 03, 2010 (8:25 am)
There's no question in my mind that the head restraints in newer model cars permit less freedom of head movement than older models. I assume that this change enhances safety. However, depending on ones anatomy, it can also increase discomfort.
I don't think any blanket statements can be made regarding the comfort of head restraints, or the comfort of one restraint versus another, because many variables come into play. In addition to peoples' anatomies; posture; individuals' tolerances, in terms of movement; the shape and contour of the seat; the amount of adjustment permitted; and the amount of time one spends in the car, all play a role in terms of comfort. What may be comfortable or tolerable for one individual may not apply to another.
I wouldn't consider buying a car with uncomfortable head restraints, regardless of how safe it may be, and some of the restraints on newer cars are uncomfortable for me. I also think there's a correlation between safety and comfort. How safe are you, especially on a long drive, if you're uncomfortable?
#13 of 39 Hyundai has it right
Feb 12, 2010 (6:42 pm)
The head rests in the Veracruz are adjustable, you can move them forward or backwards, but in the event of a crash, they move forward to prevent whiplash injuries. Why other car companies haven't done this is unknown. They only have them for the front seats due to the folding of the 2nd and 3rd rows.
#14 of 39 New restraint design is horrible
Nov 21, 2010 (9:55 am)
We recently bought a 2010 Subaru Outback Sport (Imprezza) . I absolutely hate the head restraints. I am 6 ft tall and stand and sit fairly straight up. When I drive, I like to have the seats reclined back so I am quite a ways back from the wheel and my arms are just slightly bent. In the OBS I have to recline the seat even farther back than normal or else the head restraint pushes my head to look down at the steering wheel. When I turn my head to check my blind spots, I get whacked in the face by the head restraint. There is little adjustment in the restraint, it only goes up and down. If I pull it out and reverse it in it's track, then it is so far back it would not give any protection in a rear-end crash. Until now, I hadn't realized there was a change in head restraint design and thought maybe it was only Subaru that has changed them. Reading this thread and checking out a few newer cars, it looks like most of them have gone to this madness. Is this another way the Government is trying to get us out of our cars?
#15 of 39 Re: New restraint design is horrible [nine51]
Nov 21, 2010 (5:59 pm)
A few months ago I was offered a helluva deal on a 06 Mustang Convert 4.6L, AT with only 4,000 miles. Red with Tan interior. The wife flunked the headrest test and they couldn't be reversed. Who are these designed for?
#16 of 39 Re: New restraint design is horrible [euphonium]
Nov 23, 2010 (2:21 pm)
No problems with my '06 Volvo S60. I'm 5'11" and SWMBO is 5'6" but neither of us experience any problems. We have a 6'4" friend who thinks the front seat is the best he's ever sat in. The head restraints are there should you need 'em, (God forbid), but don't intrude when you don't.............same comments for the rears. IIRC, the front restraints move forward in the event of a collision, to eliminate whiplash. No experience of that, (thankfully), and it's too cold to go outside to read the handbook.
I've driven the new S60 and that's the same, (but with much better suspension).
But.............they're head restraints, not head rests. In the same way that airbags are safety restraints not sleepy-time pillows.
#17 of 39 Re: New restraint design is horrible [alltorque]
Nov 24, 2010 (12:21 pm)
"But.............they're head restraints, not head rests. In the same way that airbags are safety restraints not sleepy-time pillows. "
I was very specific to use the terms "head restraint" No, I do not think they are pillows to rest ones head on while driving. I don't like head "restraints" that intrude on my mobility in the drivers seat. Until this recent Subaru OBS, and a few rentals I have driven in the past couple of years (including one 2009 Subaru Outback) I have never had this much of a problem being comfortable in the drivers seat with head restraints that force my head too far forward. I would prefer to have at least an inch of space between the back of my head and the restraint, but with the new designs, I'm stuck with having my head right up against them most of the time,and I am one who reclines the seats pretty far back. I can see that some shorter people who don't or can't recline their seats back might really have a problem with these new head restraints.
#18 of 39 Re: New restraint design is horrible [nine51]
Nov 24, 2010 (8:47 pm)
I agree with you.
#19 of 39 Re: New restraint design is horrible [nine51]
Nov 26, 2010 (8:06 am)
They need to copy Hyundai's design, at least you can adjust the forward position to make them more comfortable, and in a crash they move forward for better protection. Since I learned how to use my mirrors from driving a semi, visibility around the headrestraint is a non issue, but I also find some are uncomfortable.