Recent epidemiological and biomechanical studies have suggested that whiplash injury is related to a vehicle’s average acceleration rather than its speed change during a collision. In this study, we explored how six proposed whiplash injury criteria varied with low-speed rear-end collision kinematics. A BioRID II rear-impact dummy was seated on a programmable sled and exposed six times to each of fifteen different collision pulses. Five properties of the collision pulse were varied: peak acceleration (1.3 to 4.4 g), speed change (3 to 11 km/h), duration (52 to 180 ms), displacement (2 to 26 cm) and shape (square, sine and triangular). Linear and angular accelerations and displacements of the head and linear accelerations of the T1 and pelvis were measured in the sagittal plane. Upper neck loads in the sagittal plane were also measured. Variations within the proposed injury criteria between the different pulses were compared using analyses of variance. Five criteria – peak upper neck shear force, peak upper neck moment, peak retraction, the neck injury criterion (NIC) and the normalized neck injury criterion (Nij) – all exhibited graded responses that were most sensitive to the average acceleration of the collision pulse. Peak extension angle between the head and T1 exhibited a negatively graded response and was therefore unsuitable as a whiplash injury criterion for the BioRID dummy. Of the six criteria, Nij was best able to distinguish between the fifteen pulses. If the five positively-graded criteria are related to the risk of whiplash injury, then the results of this study indicated that the risk of whiplash injury can be reduced by bumper and seat designs that prolong the collision pulse and thereby reduce the average vehicle acceleration for a given speed change.