Poor head restraints are putting drivers at bigger risk of injury while upping the cost of making a claim on car insurance.
AXA Insurance estimates hundreds of thousands of whiplash claims could be prevented on a yearly basis by installing better head restraints in seats and cars. According to the company, preventable whiplash injuries are adding up to £1 billion to the cost of claims.
AXA research has found that only a third of cars have restraints and seats that would be classed as ‘good’ when it comes to their ability to drop the risk of the driver falling victim to a whiplash injury. According to AXA, around 1,500 whiplash claims are made around the UK every day, amounting to 570,000 claims and £2 billion worth of payouts a year. Should 65 per cent of these be avoided through better head restraints a whopping 370,500 or £1.3 billion of claims could be avoided.
Also, the research suggests that drivers are putting themselves at an increased whiplash risk, with just two in five people making adjustments to their head restraint to suit them. A further quarter had no idea how to change the restraint.
Robin Reames, chief claims officer at AXA believes consumer’s actions could save millions on claims being made, despite the amount of work the car insurers are putting in.
He said “Consumer awareness of prevention is another key step in bringing down the cost. It seems the majority of people are unaware of how they can help themselves and even if they are aware they do little about it.”
The research was carried out along with motor research organisation Thatcham.