85% of traumatic neck injuries are caused by car accidents; women are more prone to neck injuries from car crashes than men.
An impact of 2-5 miles per hour produces enough force to result in a cervical (neck) whiplash injury, and this impact can assert 13 lbs of force on your head causing your head to whip forward and back or side to side.
Rear-end collisions cause more injury to the cervical spine than low speed front-end collisions; during front-end collisions, your chin hits your chest and stops the flexion of the neck.
The force of impact can cause a sprain in the cervical spine which is basically a tear or a stretch injury to the ligaments surrounding your spine and connected to your vertebrae.
The more the ligaments stretch, the more compression that can be caused on the spine. This in turn can cause injury to facet joints. Facet joints act as hinges allowing your vertebrae to pivot and slide against each other enabling a wide range of motion in the neck. Facet joints have small nerves attached to the joints called medial branch nerves. These nerves can send pain signals to the brain when a whiplash injury occurs.
Even low impact car crashes can cause serious neck injuries. Do not be surprised if you begin to feel neck pain after a "minor fender-bender".