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Q: What is the best way to protect my head, neck and back from serious injury in a Harrisburg rear-end collision?

Many rear-end collisions cause head, neck and back injuries—even when the crash occurred at relatively low rates of speed. This is largely due to ramping, which occurs when the force of a rear-end collision throws the body backwards against the seat and upwards towards the headrest at the same time. Because ramping whips the head backwards, it tends to overextend the neck and cause injury. 

The number one thing you can do to reduce your risk of serious injury in a motor vehicle crash is to wear a seat belt. It is also very important to adjust your head restraint and seatback to a safe position every time you get in your vehicle. 

Head Restraint

Many people do not realize that the headrest in their vehicle is actually a safety device called a head restraint. When properly positioned, the head restraint holds your head in place during a rear-end collision to prevent or reduce the occurrence of injuries. When positioned incorrectly, the headrest can increase the ramping effect and do more harm than good. Make sure your head restraint is adjusted so that the top of the head restraint is level with the top of your head (or as close to that as you can get it). 


Seatbacks are adjustable in order to ensure driver comfort and safety. If your seatback is in a reclined position, chances are there is too much distance between your head and the back of the seat. This increases the ramping effect in a rear-end accident. For maximum safety in the event of a crash, adjust your seatback so that you are sitting upright and the back of your head is about two inches from the head restraint. 

Serious head, neck and back injuries can result from a rear-end collision. You can reduce the likelihood of a serious injury by wearing your seat belt and adjusting your seatback and headrest. If you are injured in a rear-end accident due to the negligent or careless actions of another driver, we can help.

Contact a skilled car accident attorney at Schmidt Kramer at (717) 888-8888 for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.

You may also wish to download a free copy of our book Who Pays the Bills When You Are Injured in an Automobile Accident? for more information.