There are many active systems designed to protect passengers of modern cars. The aim of this paper is to use numerical simulations for assessment of innovative head restraint system, which can protect passengers head during a side impact. That is, to evaluate possible benefit of such headrest installed in a car without head airbag during side impact and in configuration of, so called, far side impact We use a novel approach in assessment of functionality of the innovative headrest. The functionality of the headrest is evaluated with respect to human population variability. There is used VIRTHUMAN (scalable human body model) scaled for pre-selected human individuals to assess population variability influence in defined side impact scenarios. The human model can cover large numbers of passengers of different sizes and it extends conventional virtual evaluation of the new safety designs via existing pre-defined mono-purpose side dummies and its FE models. FE model of a small car with side airbag is used to verify benefit of the innovative headrest in different side impact scenarios inspired by the pole tests performed by EuroNCAP. Transversal impacts to a pole at 29 and 32 km/h are considered under 90° and 75° angles from driver and the opposite side. Various initial driver sizes with activated and inactive system are considered, which leads to more than 80 simulations. The effect of the innovative headrest system is evaluated in terms of driver injury risk.