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Anti Whiplash Head Restraints


philwhite
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I was involved in a rear end shunt in my Lexus IS Sport yesterday, it didn't look like there was too much damage however when I took it into the garage I was told it would cost in the region of £1500 to repair. Gutted! Of greater concern my passenger and I both suffered whiplash injuries as a result of the incident. I am EXTREMELY surprised that Lexus do not fit anti whiplash head restraints to the IS. It has scored extremely well in the recent NCAP crash tests however no mention is made of the lack of anti whiplash head restraints. Infact I am extremely surprised that there is not even any adjustment for the headrests to move forward, reducing the distance the head needs to travel before it comes to a stop.

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I totally agree, having had quite a heavy rear end impact a few years ago, it really makes you realise how important an anti whiplash system would be. I've got a mk1 IS so that's fair enough, but with the knee airbags and all that, I thought the new IS would have had something fitted to deal with this.

Do the headrests not tilt forwards though as they do on the old IS?

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I was involved in a rear end shunt in my Lexus IS Sport yesterday, it didn't look like there was too much damage however when I took it into the garage I was told it would cost in the region of £1500 to repair. Gutted! Of greater concern my passenger and I both suffered whiplash injuries as a result of the incident. I am EXTREMELY surprised that Lexus do not fit anti whiplash head restraints to the IS. It has scored extremely well in the recent NCAP crash tests however no mention is made of the lack of anti whiplash head restraints. Infact I am extremely surprised that there is not even any adjustment for the headrests to move forward, reducing the distance the head needs to travel before it comes to a stop.

Most people get whiplash because they don't position their head rest in the right way in the first place.

Even if there was anti whiplash headrests in the car you would still be injured if they are not set right and actually could cause more damage if to low.

When you are in your seat and sitting straight your headrest should be just touching the back of your head. Right at the middle of your head also. Definitely not your neck.

This would greatly reduce the chance of whiplash which is caused buy your head flicking forwards then backwards beyond its normal upright position.

Have a look at where you have your set and see if it is right.

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Most people get whiplash because they don't position their head rest in the right way in the first place.

Even if there was anti whiplash headrests in the car you would still be injured if they are not set right and actually could cause more damage if to low.

When you are in your seat and sitting straight your headrest should be just touching the back of your head. Right at the middle of your head also. Definitely not your neck.

This would greatly reduce the chance of whiplash which is caused buy your head flicking forwards then backwards beyond its normal upright position.

Have a look at where you have your set and see if it is right.

My last car didn't have headrests, and that's true of many performance cars.

IIRC, though, don't the headrests auto-adjust height in the Lexus anyway?

The anti-whiplash headrests are very expensive, I would imagine.

They need motors and radars inside the headrests, and narrow beam radar in the rear bumper.

I was surprised they even existed in the LS, so I wasn't at all surprised that they're not in the IS.

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The anti-whiplash headrests are very expensive, I would imagine.

They need motors and radars inside the headrests, and narrow beam radar in the rear bumper.

I was surprised they even existed in the LS, so I wasn't at all surprised that they're not in the IS.

I didn't think they worked like that, I thought they worked mecanicaly as in the weight of your body going into the seat on rear impact forced the chair to absorb your body and push the head rest forward to hold your head. im not sure though?

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There's a torrent available of Nikon car show, which shows how it works.

It's possible we might be talking about different technologies.

The one I've seen uses a radar to detect a rear collision, then uses radar to move the headrests to within a few mm of the occupants heads.

G

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You could do it much more cheaply by employing sensors in the bumper which detect impact, like those used for airbags. The sensors could set off a charge/solenoid to move the headrest forward (say) 15mm to reduce the distance between the rest and the back of your head when the sensors fire. Through the use of crumple zones, the initial contact required to set the sensors off means the headrests would have achieved full motion before the full force of the impact reaches the rigid passenger cell and you get a whiplash injury.

Incidentally, NCAP make absolutely NO consideration for rear-end crashes, so you can get a great score without any special features to reduce injury in such accidents. I don't believe it was ever really intended for use by the public as a tool to help them gauge relative safety of vehicles. But someone (coughRenaultcough) started using it to market their vehicles (someone more cynical than I might suggest they specifically design their vehicles to have good scores in the specific tests they use) and since 'safety' catches the public imagination so well at the moment, all manufacturers started to advertise their good scores.

Overall I don't think it's a bad thing to look at safety, but NCAP isn't perfect by a very long way. For one thing, it fails to measure rear-impacts, and focuses on impact protection whilst ignoring things like effective ABS and VSC systems which can prevent accidents in the first place. Also 4x4s score well as they have very strong chassis that are higher than standard cars, yet they are much more prone to roll-over type accidents which are not tested for and could have very serious consequences from a secondary impact with another vehicle.

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Most are quite primitive, e.g. the one on Saabs, senses the rear impact then explosives fire the headrest forwards before your head has a chance to fly backwards.

Volvos have a more complicated system where the seat slides back and then reclines (or something like that) to prevent any injury.

The one being mentioned on the LS is a little more complicated in that the pre-safe radar senses that the car is going to have a rear end impact and pre-emptively moves the headrest into the required position (don't think the headrest uses radar though :blink: )

Having seen how hard your head can hit the headrest (even when correctly positioned) in a rear end impact, I do think these systems are quite important.

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The one being mentioned on the LS is a little more complicated in that the pre-safe radar senses that the car is going to have a rear end impact and pre-emptively moves the headrest into the required position (don't think the headrest uses radar though :blink: )

I was very sceptical of that, myself.

However the demonstration video showed a guy holding his hand at different distances from the headrest and then triggering it, and the headrests always stopped shortly before the hand.

It's well worth watching, since it's got some other safety features tested in there too.

Called something along the lines of lexus safety test.

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I always feel very safe sitting in a tin foil French thing surrounded by explosive devices in the knowlage that it has a high bull**** NCAP rating, I'm sure that will make me invulnerable in an impact over walking pace or when tangling with a ****** up Pole in a 40 tonner. Think I would prefer to drive a solidly built car with good crumple zones and less electronic gizmology. Oh and set your seat correctly..Not saying that this is the case here but far too many people just don't know how to sit in a car. How many of us have seen a female passenger in a car with passenger air bags sitting with her feet on the dash.....Dont you just wonder? Ha Ha :hehe:

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Phil - hope you get better soon buddy. Just remember that clause around personal injury claims - that's what Insurance is for...at the end of the day of the day he/she (i.e. the 3rd party) should have been paying attention...!!

Thanks Jamboo, actually I am fine now, apart from the dull ache of denting my new baby! I won't be making a claim for whiplash as I don't think I need to although I do understand that at some point in the future I may suffer problems as a result of this incident.

Still, my point remains that I am very surprised that this excellent car does not have better protection for the driver & passenger. I have checked the position of the headrests and can confirm that they are in the correct position. I know they are because I am always having a go at my Mum for not having the ones in the VW Passat in the correct position. Incidentally, hers has a mechanical anti whiplash system fitted as standard plus a great range of forward adjustment to bring the headrest closer to the head in the first place.

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