Headrest discomfort for short folks



The headrests on the 2010-11 Honda Accord and Honda CRV tilt forward and hit me on the top of the head. After two test drives I had a neck ache and a sore spot on my head. Other short (5ft. 3 in) friends report similar discomforts in Mercedes and Honda Odyessy. Why do they make cars like this? Can non-tilted aftermarket headrests be purchased?


Ask the dealer if other head rests are available. If not, keep test driving other makes and models until you find one that fits you. Cars are like shoes – what fits me may not fit you.


They are NOT headrest. They are a safety device. Normally you head should not touch them as you drive. Take a close read of your owner’s manual. You want to adjust them as directed in that book.

Remember Head Restraint not Headrest.


There is no way to adjust the ‘safety device’ except to move it up and down. No matter how I adjust it upwards or downwards it hits my head even when I sit up and try NOT to touch it. The whole problem is that I cannot adjust it so my head does not hit it. I also drove a Camry and Rav and had the same problem. Previous posts indicated that others had this same problem. I am hoping someone has found a solution to this problem.


The only solution is to recline the seat slightly.

As Mr. Meehan pointed out, these are not head rests.
They are head restraints, i.e.–a recognized safety device, and as a result, most newer cars have head restraints that come very close to the back of the driver’s head, or actually touch the back of his/her head. This allows the head restraint to limit the rearward movement of your head in the event of a rear impact. In other words, the head restraints are designed that way for a reason, namely to limit or eliminate the possibility of painful “whiplash” injuries.

Try reclining the seat slightly.
If that does not work, then you will have to adapt to the cars that are available, not vice-versa.


I do not advocate removing head restraints but I believe the Federal Regulators and car companies should not make rules that protect tall people and prevent short people from comfortably driving cars. Head restraints on older vehicles apparently were too far away from the heads of tall people who like to recline. Since that is not true of me in my other car, I do not see why short people who do not like to recline (we need to see over the dash) have to suffer.



Shop for a different car if these aren’t comfortable.

The 2011 Ford Explorer, for one, has adjustable headrests that allow you to change their angle but still meet federal safety standards.


On the other hand, I do not advocate sacrificing safety of taller drivers so that short drivers can be comfortable. One is comfort, the other is safety. Which is really more important?


There is a difference between comfort, as in cushy seats, and neck pain. Having daily neck pain due to your car is not good for your health either. I test drove two cars for about 1 hour total and I had pain. It was not just a little annoying.

Head restraints that can be adjusted back and forth would be a reasonable solution.

The regulators and car companies could have not allowed seats to recline as much as they now do. Then everyone’s head would be near the headrest. Tall people would be safe. They would complain of discomfort, but the would be ‘safer’. Therefore, I do not see my position as advocating sacrificing the safety of taller drivers.


Thanks, I will check out Ford.


All people should be aware of this problem. I would like you to know that the text book by Dr. Janet Travell notes this issue as a contributor to trigger points in muscles. We need to alert the manufacturers to the problems associated with a forward head posture. This postural distortion can result in chronic pain complaints. Most modern cars have headrests not designed for the best functioning of the human body on a daily basis. I do not believe that we should trade our posture for possible protection in an accident. We need to protest this issue. I know that for most females, the car restraints cause postural distortion while seated in the vehicle.