Why can professional race-car drivers crash into barriers at great speed and yet very few, if any, report the same life-destroying symptoms of whiplash that us mere mortals do. Whilst it could be argued that this is due to anticipation of impact and the fact that most of these vehicles are designed to either break up to absorb the force of impact or are reinforced to resist the force of impact, there may also be other logical reasons. Most professional race-car drivers progress through various levels of vehicle, each of which exposes them to gradually increasing G-forces. Thus their neck muscles get progressively stronger and perhaps this assists with minimizing whiplash. They also have anatomically perfect posture whilst driving thus their neck muscles are in the best position to contract to support the spine.
Next time you’re stopped in traffic, take a look at the drivers around you….chances are they’ll be sitting with their head thrust forward and shoulders slightly slumped. In this position, the neck joints are close to their end of range and the muscles are not in the best position to offer support. It’s easy to see how being hit from behind will result in neck trauma. Perhaps a little community awareness could save the same from paying millions of dollars to manage the consequences of whiplash.