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This article was published 9/12/2009 (4424 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Snow and icy road conditions lead to an increase in the number of rear-end collisions, but a local chiropractor says most Winnipeggers aren't taking the appropriate steps to mitigate serious injuries.
Dr. Sean Shapiro said Wednesday improperly adjusted headrests and seat backs can make auto collision-related injuries, particularly whiplash, worse than they need to be.
Whiplash injuries cost auto insurance companies in Canada $4 billion annually, he said.
Shapiro said placing the head rest too low and setting the seat back too far are a recipe for a serious injury.
"The key thing I tell people is that the car seat is not about comfort -- this is a protective device," Shapiro said.
The proper setting for the seat back is almost at 90 degrees, he said, adding that keeping the seat too far back may be comfortable but it will act like a ramp during a collision. "The body will rise up along the seatback and the head will snap over the back of the headrest," Shapiro said.
The headrest should be raised to the top of the individual's head, with the middle of the headrest just above the occupant's ear, he said.
"A properly adjusted head rest can reduce neck injuries by 40 per cent...that's 40 per cent less pain and suffering," Shapiro said.