So effective have the combined efforts of HMG and the insurance industry proved in combatting the scourge of whiplash, that claimants have stopped claiming for whiplash and opted for a range of alternative neck and back complaints that lend themselves less handily to snappy headlines such as War on Whiplash, Whiplash Windfall, Whiplash Whip-Off and the like.

It’s probably just as well, because, the more often you say it, the sillier the word whiplash comes to sound. We’ll all be much better off complaining in more generic terms about the “scourge neck and back injury claims” and decrying Brits for having the weakest spines in Europe.

You want facts and figures? As you would expect, Bankstone News has them ready to hand. We found them in Insurance Times! There we learned that whiplash claims reported to the Department for Work in Progress (DWP) were 10% lower in the 2012/13 financial year (at 428,000) than four years previously when they peaked at around 477,000 (see Note 1 below, if you can really be bothered).

However… back injuries had climbed by a whopping 185% over the same period, while non-whiplash neck injuries were up by almost 200%. Admittedly, such claims still have a little way to go, at 38,000 and 232,000 respectively to topple the still popular whiplash option, but at this rate the very word whiplash could soon be consigned to history (see Note 2 below), along with cuffglaff, groak, lunting and pussyvan.

So, basically it’s goodbye whiplash, hello something rather similar. All of which goes to prove that, as the Bard of South Warwickshire once memorably observed, “A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. Unless, of course, that A stood for Axel. And then it probably wouldn’t.


1. What Insurance Times actually reported was this “In the 2012/13 financial year the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Compensation Recovery Unit received 477,257 claims for whiplash injuries, compared with 428,497 in 2008/09 – a decrease of 10%.” But we’re guessing they just swapped the figures round to keep readers on their toes.

2. At this point, retro music fans of the future would presumably have not the least idea what the late lamented Lou Reed was on about when intoning “Shiny, shiny, shiny boots of leather. Whiplash girl child in the dark”.


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