One hundred and thirty-seven patients attending hospital following road traffic accidents were contracted regarding pain in the neck between 1 and 2 years later. Eighty-five (62 per cent) stated that they had suffered pain in the neck at some time following their accident compared with 42 (30.6 per cent) who were noted to have pain in the neck when examined soon after the accident. Thirty-one patients (22.6 per cent) still felt occasional pain 1 year after the accident and 5 had continuous pain at 1 year. Pain in the neck occurred irrespective of the direction of impact but was disproportionately common in rear impact accidents. Patients wearing seat belts experienced pain more frequently than unbelted patients.