Although no consensus currently exists on the mechanisms and tolerances of whiplash injuries, it is generally accepted that head restraint position plays an important role in determining injury risk. This study explores the effects of head restraint position on whiplash injury risk by analyzing a series of rear impact simulations. Head restraint height and backset are varied over a wide range of values and a number of engineering parameters believed to be related to whiplash injury risk are examined. Results indicate that relative motion between the head and torso is strongly related to head restraint position and relative stiffness of the head restraint and seat back. Whiplash injury risk is believed to be related to this relative motion.

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