Automobile headrests are supposed to prevent whiplash, and federal regulators are ordering them made higher andcloser to the head to be more effective.
Automakers must comply with the new rule by September 2008.
Backseat headrests aren't required, but automakers can install them if they want. Some automakers, though, say backseat headrests impair driver visibility.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it'll cost less than five dollars a vehicle to modify front seat headrests. The result, it says, will be at least a six-percent drop in the number of whiplash injuries, saving more than 100 (m) million dollars annually in medical bills and other costs.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety support the new rule.
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