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What can you do to reduce the chances of getting whiplash?

If you have ever been in a fender bender in Hartford, you might be familiar with the soreness and stiffness that shows up after a day or two. If you had soreness in your neck that was the result of your head being snapped back during impact, this is known as whiplash. Most people recover fully after sustaining this type of injury, but may require medical treatment. It may also take weeks or months to feel completely better after getting whiplash. Understandably, you might want to know if you can take steps to avoid such an injury in the future.

According to Consumer Reports, you can get whiplash from a crash that occurred at a speed as low as 10 miles per hour. It is the back-and-forth whipping motion of the neck and head that causes whiplash, not the speed of the impact. Whiplash most often occurs after a rear-end collision, and it can take a day or so for your symptoms to appear. These most often include pain and stiffness in your neck and shoulders, headaches and tingling in your shoulders, arms or hands. You might also experience fatigue, dizziness, difficulty concentrating and memory problems.

Vehicles built after 2009 have improved head restraints, which can reduce the whip motion that causes this injury. Before you purchase a car, you might want to check its safety rating to see how it stands up to rear-end crashes. You may also increase your protection by sitting upright while the car is in motion, wearing your seatbelt and not tailgating the person in front of you. When adjusting the head restraint, make sure the top of the restraint reaches the top of your ears or head. It should not rest farther than four inches from the back of your head. If it appears you are about to get into an accident, position yourself so your head is contacting the restraint and look straight in front of you.

It is not possible to prevent every accident, but the right safety restraints and driving behaviors could save you from a great deal of pain.

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