Whiplash injury criteria are based upon the hypothesis that neck injuries are caused by excessive loads, displacements, or head/T1 relative acceleration and velocity. The objectives of this study were to evaluate and compare the whiplash injury criteria (IV-NIC, NIC, Nkm, Nij, and NDC) during simulated rear impacts of a new Human Model of the Neck (HUMON) with and without an active head restraint (AHR). HUMON consisted of a neck specimen mounted to the torso of BioRID II and carrying an anthropometric head stabilized with muscle force replication. HUMON was seated and secured in a Kia Sedona seat with AHR on a sled. Rear impacts (7.1 and 11.1 g) were simulated with the AHR in five different positions followed by an impact with no HR. Statistical differences (P < 0.05) were determined in the peak NIC and NDC due to the AHR, as compared to no HR, and in the peak IV-NIC relative to physiologic limits. Linear regression analyses identified correlation between IV-NIC and NIC, Nkm, Nij, and NDC (R2≥ 0.35 and P < 0.001). The AHR caused significant decreases in peak NIC and NDC as compared to no HR. The IV-NIC identified significantly increased motion above the physiologic limit at the middle and lower cervical spine with and without the AHR. Correlation was observed between IV-NIC and NIC, Nkm, Nij, and NDC. Extrapolation using the present correlations and the IV-NIC injury thresholds suggests neck injuries may occur at peak NIC of 14.4 m2/s2, Nkm of 0.33, or Nij of 0.09. Nonphysiologic spinal rotation at one or more spinal levels may occur even if head/T1 motions are small. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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