Numerous crash-related factors have been investigated for their predictive capacity. Some of these include the vehicle being stationary when hit, a frontal collision, a rear-end collision, side or other collision, being unprepared for the collision, no seat belt use and no head restraint. However, few of these factors have demonstrated significant predictive power. The exceptions to this are not wearing a seat belt, which was reported to nearly double the risk of developing persistent pain or disability. This is an interesting finding as, in certain jurisdictions where compulsory seat belt use is legislated, the voluntary admission of not wearing a seat belt would not be expected to be common, particularly in jurisdictions operating under a fault-based system. Thus, it is possible that the risk of developing a chronic condition associated with not wearing a seat belt may be even higher than that reported by Walton and colleagues. Scholten-Peeters et al. reported some limited prognostic value for accidents that occur on a highway, but also reported that there was strong evidence that rear-end collisions have no predictive value for poor functional recovery.
Thus, the weight of evidence indicates that crash-related factors are of limited value in attempting to predict poor recovery following whiplash injury.
The predictive capacity of sociodemographic factors has been studied extensively in musculoskeletal pain conditions, and whiplash is no exception. Older age (>50 years), while showing predictive