Whiplash Protection System

Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) is a protection against whiplash injuries. The system consists of energy-absorbing backrests and seat cushions, and specially designed head restraints in the front seats.

WHIPS is deployed in the event of a rear-end collision, where the angle and speed of the collision and the nature of the colliding vehicle all have an influence.

When WHIPS is deployed, the front seat backrests are lowered backward and the seat cushions move downward to change the seating position of the driver and front seat passenger. This reduces the risk of whiplash injury.


WHIPS is a supplement to the seatbelts. Always use a seatbelt.


Never modify or repair the seat or WHIPS yourself. Volvo recommends that an authorised Volvo workshop should be contacted.

If the front seats have been subjected to a major load, such as in conjunction with a collision, the seats must be replaced. Some of the seats' protective properties may have been lost even if they do not appear damaged.

P5-1507–Safety–WHIPS obstructing objects
Do not leave any objects on the floor behind or under the front seats or in the seat row behind the driver's seat/passenger seat that may prevent WHIPS from functioning.


Do not squeeze rigid objects between the rear seat cushion and the front seat's backrest.


If a rear seat backrest is folded down, the corresponding front seat must be moved forward so that it does not make contact with the folded backrest.

Seating position

For optimum protection from WHIPS the driver and passenger must have the correct seating position and make sure that the system's function is not obstructed.

Set the correct seating position in the front seat before driving starts.

Driver and front seat passenger should sit in the centre of the seat with as little space as possible between the head and the head restraint.

WHIPS and child seats

The protection provided by the car to children seated in a child seat or on a booster cushion is not diminished by WHIPS.

A child seat/booster cushion can be placed on the front passenger seat provided that the car does not have an activated airbag on the front passenger side.