Automobile seat backs and head restraints play a key safety role during low-speed rear-end collisions, yet few studies have explored the effect of collision variables on seat response. In this study, the effects of vehicle speed change and seat belt use on dynamic seat back and head restraint response during low-speed rear-end automobile collisions were examined. Four human subjects were repeatedly exposed to vehicle-to-vehicle rear-end collisions with speed changes of 2, 4, 6 and 8 km/h. Seat back force and deflection, and head restraint force were measured. The point of application of the resultant force applied to the seat back and head restraint were determined. The magnitude and time of peak kinematic and kinetic response parameters were used in a two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) for speed change and seat belt use. The results showed that 20 of the 24 seat back and head restraint response parameters varied with speed change and none of the parameters varied with seat belt use. Head restraint forces, seat back forces and seat back deflections increased approximately linearly with speed change, whereas time to peak response, direction and moment arm of the forces remained either constant or varied only slightly over the range of speed changes tested.