WASHINGTON — The government on Thursday ordered manufacturers of light trucks, vans and sport-utility vehicles to install front-seat headrests to reduce whiplash injuries to drivers and passengers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has required the restraints for cars since 1969, said models assembled after September, 1991, would have to include head restraints.
All multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less would be covered by the rule. Many manufacturers already include head restraints in their vehicles.
The order was prompted partly by the fact that more motorists are using light trucks and vans as "substitutes for passenger cars," the traffic agency said in a news release.