Whiplash of the cervical spine (neck) is easy to understand-and well accepted in the medical literature. Remember: The “head-bone is connected to the neck bone”. The same forces that cause a whiplash of the neck cause even greater forces to the brain. It is a matter of simple physics that the forces are greater the farther out on the whip (the farther away from the fulcrum).
The most common type of motor vehicle collision is the “rear-ender” where the victim’s vehicle is struck from behind. This causes an “acceleration/deceleration” biomechanical model which biomechanical experts recognize as “biphasic”. In the acceleration phase, the vehicle is violently pushed forward with the seat pushing the trunk forward while restrained by the shoulder and lap belt. The neck and head is not so restrained except by the head rest which is often improperly adjusted and the head actually goes backward above the head rest.
Then comes the second phase where the body rebounds forward. As it does so, the “three point” restraint system in most automobiles restrains only one of the twohyuman shoulders, either the left shoulder of the driver or the right shoulder of the passenger. This causing a dramatic “rotation” of the upper torso. It is well known that the brain is more susceptible to rotational forces which cause greater injury. It is quite common for the driver to have more damage to the left side of the neck and the passenger to the right side of the neck. In many cases, the driver’s head and neck is turned, looking at the rear view mirror or watching for traffic, causing additional rotation force. Experts have called this phenomenon the “complex interplay of seat design, occupant mass, occupation position, and vehicle dynamics” which produces whiplash injuries to both the neck and the brain.
Another expert contends that airbags, which are made to prevent fatal injury (death), are actually contributing to cause concussions.