Whiplash injuries following road traffic accidents seem to be an increasing problem in many countries. Many studies are based on biased material from specialized departments or data from insurance companies. The aim of this study was to calculate the risk of longer lasting neck pain for persons involved in road traffic accidents and treated in the emergency room. We found that 49% of the patients treated following road traffic accidents in motor vehicles reported problems with neck pain. Thirteen percent had neck pain with more than six months of duration. The highest risk of neck pain was recorded in women aged 20-59 years. Accidents with front to back collisions presented the highest risk. The conclusion was that whiplash associated disorders following road traffic accidents in motor vehicles apparently is a large problem. The treatment and rehabilitation must be centralized at the level of the general practitioners.