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Driving Skills after Whiplash

A number of studies in the last few years have shown a relationship between postural control system disturbance and whiplash injuries.

Now a new study shows that whiplash patients may not only have eye movement disorders caused by whiplash, but that this condition may make them unsafe drivers.

Researchers tested a group of 23 whiplash patients and matched group of control subjects in a driving simulator. "The results revealed significant differences between the two groups with respect to response times to the traffic signs presented, identification of type of sign, as well as steering precision while the subjects' attention was directed to the process of identifying the signs."

The authors believe that disturbance of the postural control system is at the root of the problem, and suggest that registration of eye movements may be useful tool in evaluating driving skill after whiplash injuries.

Gimse R, Bjorgen IA, Staume A. Driving skills after whiplash. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 1997;38(3):165-170.