July 4, 2007 Toyota has developed an Active Headrest that reduces the stress on the neck during low-speed, rear impacts. The new head restraint is an extension of the WIL concept seat, in which both the seatback and head restraint simultaneously cushion the head and lower back to reduce stress on the neck. Specifically, when the occupant’s back presses against the seatback during a rear-end collision, a built-in lower unit triggers the head restraint to move diagonally upward. This action swiftly catches the back of the head, thereby reducing the risk of whiplash injury sustained by the neck upon collision. In-house testing shows it reduces the severity of whiplash injury by 10-20%. The headrest will begin incorporation in new Toyota models in the near future.
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