Vehicle seats without head support


Active member
Another thread I was responding in got me to thinking. My husbands Jeep doesn't have headrests. My children have a lot of years of car seats and boosters ahead of them, so it's a non-issue for them. However, we take my almost 10 yo nephew with us frequently. We don't have a highback booster that he fits in, so we just put him in the seatbelt only, it fits well.

My question is, should we stop allowing nephew to ride with us? I do worry about whiplash, but I don't actually know *how* bad it is.


New member
Can he go in the front seat? Could you get a HBB for him?

Otherwise, if I *did* take him in the back w/ no head rest, I'd be perfectly clear to the mom and dad that there is no head rest...

My SIL has a jeep w/ no head rests. My guys are still in car seats. They will *not* go back when they are too tall for their seats. I would not sit back there. Others do and think nothing of it.

I kind of wonder if it's safe back there at all. The Roll bar looks closer to the front than back there and...



Active member
It's not a Wrangler, it's a Grand Cherokee, there isn't a roll bar at all. He could go in the front seat if I sat in the back. And there is no way DH will be allowing me to purchase a HB booster for him, because he'd need something like the FR85 in booster mode or one nearly as tall. He's MUCH too tall for the Turbo we have.

My sister knows there are no headrests. She doesn't care in the slightest. As a matter of fact, she never even buckles her kids up when they're in our small town because 'it's only 25 mph.' Trust me, she doesn't care. Which is why I am the one who worries about nephews safety.


New member
I was wondering the same thing but more generalized since there are so many vehicles without headrests in the back (or some like mine where the middle seat does not have a head rest...should I never drive 3 people in the back? ever? Why would they even make vehicles without proper head support, especially when the back seat is supposed to be the safest place to sit?


Well-known member
You could try to get headrests retrofitted. If this is a vehicle you're going to keep for a long time, you could look into whether or not you can swap out a seatback from a newer Cherokee with headrests.

Or you could just be okay with it since his mom is okay with it. My mom has a '93 Aerostar van -- the same one my brother & I sat in the back of for many long road trips as teens. It has low seatbacks and no headrests. It does have shoulder belts, so I've decided to just be okay with my teens riding in it a couple times a year around town when my mom comes to visit.


Active member
We're actually planning on putting in some different seats. We found a Cherokee two years newer with indetical interior, but the backseats have headrests. The deal is though, we can't afford to buy new seats when we're still working on the engine and transfer case replacement. I do hope to get new seats in the sort of near future though.

In the meantime, I think we're just going to let nephew ride with us occasionally and try to not overthink it.


New member
I don't feel as strongly about the lack of headrest as I do about lap belt only situations. There is no way I'd ever let anyone ride with a lap belt only. But we do occasionally have people riding in the center seats in our Outlook which don't have headrests. Not sure how I'd feel about it as an everyday situation, but for an occasional thing I'm personally OK with it (although I do my best to avoid it if possible).


New member
My 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee has headrests outboard that are not moveable, but not one in the center. There are 3 lap/shoulder belts across the back. Just my info. I love the FR85 in my vehicle. I can just barely get them installed with the long belt path, but they are in.


New member
I was in an accident when I was 14 with no head support and still have neck problems 22 years later. I don't know how much the lap belt only contributed to it but my younger brother was also in a lap belt and was just fine. There where days in high school I would wake up in pain and not be able to turn my head one direction. I know I had insufficient physical therapy and I've had 3 accidents since then that have aggravated the old injury. I would only ride without head support in a true emergency.

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