AARP Driving Resource Center

How to Adjust Your Vehicle’s Head Restraints

Avoid neck injury using these simple guidelines

Neck injuries are reported by drivers in more than 1 in 5 rear-impact crashes.

See also: Getting the Right Fit With Your Vehicle

Although studies show that proper adjustment of a head restraint can prevent neck injuries, many drivers do not take the time — or do not know how — to adjust their head restraints.

Here are two tips to help you make sure the head restraint is in the proper position:

  • Make sure the middle of the head restraint is even with the middle of your head or as high as it can be adjusted if it will not reach the middle of your head
  • Note the distance between the back of your head and the head restraint. The distance ought to be as close as comfort will allow and not more than 2½ inches.

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