Lawford Kidd, Personal Injury Solicitors

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Poor head restraints increase the risk of whiplash injuries

Hundreds of thousands of whiplash injuries could be prevented each year with better head restraints and seats in UK cars, according to Axa Insurance.

The company carried out research, in conjunction with motor research organisation Thatcham, into the cars on the UK's roads and estimates that only 34% have head restraints and seats that would be categorised as "good" when it comes to reducing the risk of the driver being the victim of whiplash injuries.

In the UK, 1600 claims for whiplash are made per day - 570,000 per year - costing the insurance industry £2bn per year in payouts. If 65% of these could be avoided through better head restraints and seats this could mean a reduction of 370,500 claims costing around £1.3bn.

Matthew Avery, Head of Research at Thatcham commented: "We carried out a similar study a few years ago and the statistics have improved a bit since then. But there is still a long way to go and we are continually working with the motor industry to make the changes that will save thousands of people suffering unnecessary injury."

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