Whiplash injuries due to rear-end car collisions is one of the most aggravating traffic safety problems with serious implications for the European society. Yearly more than a million European citizens suffer neck injuries from rear-end car collisions, implying tremendous societal costs. Therefore the European Community has sponsored the European Whiplash project. The objective of this paper is to present a general overview of this project.
Accident studies show the relevance of rear impact related whiplash injuries and representative rear impact conditions in which whiplash is likely to occur. For the development of a Rear Impact Dummy (RID) typical human responses to rear impact are needed and were obtained with human volunteer and Post Mortem Human Subject tests at low speeds. Accident reconstructions were performed in order to derive injury thresholds for the dummy. Combining information from the accident investigations and the reconstructions, test methods for the evaluation of seats and head restraints were developed. Finally the dummy and the test methods were used to evaluate seats available on the European market.