How to Rest Your Head Correctly to Prevent Neck Injury

Hi readers. As you can probably guess, I can't answer every letter I get. In fact, I have to do bicep exercises these days just so I can bring the mail in. But I get some questions that I can answer quickly. Here are a few of those today:

Dear Car Talk:

My friend suffered a neck injury from a minor car accident because her headrest "was in the wrong position."

What is the right position? -- Mary

Good question, Mary. The headrest is not there for your comfort. It's there to protect your neck. And block your view.

Ideally the headrest should be -- get this -- resting against your head. Certainly, you want it no farther than about 2 inches away from the back of your head as you drive. And you don't want it to be so low that it rests against your neck when you lean back.

That's a surefire way to get a neck injury. Then the headrest acts as a fulcrum when the car gets jolted forward, and your neck gets bent back over the headrest. Ouch.

So, you want it touching the upper part of the back of your head or no more than an inch or two away from there, Mary.

Dear Car Talk:

In the 1980s, a fleet of 400 Toyota pickups was used by the African nation of Chad to defeat a better-equipped force of Libyans.

What makes the '80s Toyota pickups so suitable to warfare? -- Edward

I don't know, Edward. I'm not a military expert. Have you tried the "Ask a Rebel Commander" column?

My guess would be that those Toyotas appealed to the Chadian army for the same reason they appealed to your grandmother in the 1980s. They always started.

Toyotas from that era were incredibly durable and reliable. And if you're looking to run away from people trying to kill you, those happen to be two excellent qualities.


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Todays Car-o-Scope

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