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Four Ways To Help Prevent A Whiplash Injury

02nd April 2012
By Justin Arnold in Legal
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One of the most common types of car accident in the UK is the rear end shunt, and the most common injury sustained in a rear end shunt is whiplash. In this article I'll be looking at four ways which you can help to reduce the chance of sustaining this type of injury.

Personal injury claims for whiplash have increased significantly in recent years, partly due to the increased media coverage encouraging people to claim for the compensation they deserve, as well as media coverage of the very small minority of people who have taken advantage of the system.

But whilst it is reassuring to know that if you do suffer from a whiplash injury you can make a claim for compensation to cover the inevitable loss of earnings and other expenses following a car accident, it is clearly preferable to either avoid a rear end shunt in the first place, or at least minimise the severity of any injuries which you might sustain.

There are four things which you can do straightaway which will help to either reduced the chance that you will be struck from behind by another vehicle, or at least minimise the severity of any neck injury caused.

The first thing which you can do straightaway is to check that the head rest on your car seat is positioned correctly. An alarming number of people never actually bother to check that the headrest is in the correct position, yet this can make an enormous difference in reducing neck injuries.

In a normal sitting position the headrest should be no more than an inch behind your head. Often there is a very large gap between the headrest and the back of the driver's head, but this simply means that when a vehicle strikes your car from behind your head has further to travel backwards, striking the headrest with more force, and then rebounding forwards more energetically. This is what causes a whiplash injury. Reducing the distance between your head and the headrest significantly reduces the distance and force with which your head is moved.

Another thing which you can do is to apply the handbrake whenever you are stationary for more than a few seconds. If a vehicle strikes you from behind and your handbrake is off, then even if your foot is on the foot brake your vehicle is much more likely to lurch forwards. This also increases the likelihood that you will strike a vehicle or object in front of you, and this all adds up to an increased likelihood of a whiplash injury.

The third bit of advice is to keep your foot on the foot brake in addition to having the handbrake on in order to make sure that the rear brake lights are illuminated. This helps to make it more apparent to vehicles approaching you from behind that your vehicle is stationary. If you see a vehicle approaching you from behind and you are stationary then you may even decide to release your foot from the brake and then apply it again in order to make the brake lights blink.

The fourth bit of advice is to remember to use the hazard lights if ever you have to slow down for an unexpected obstruction or queue, making it clear to any vehicle behind you that there is a potential hazard.

These four tips can help to protect you from sustaining what is a very debilitating injury. However, if you are unlucky enough to suffer whiplash as a result of the car accident then it is important is to contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible in order to make sure that the relevant evidence is gathered as quickly as possible.

If you have been involved in a car accident in Manchester and has suffered a whiplash injury as a result then contact CK claims. They are personal injury solicitors who deal with a variety of injury claims across Manchester, offering a friendly, personal service.
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