Abstract : Injuries at the cervical level are often related with motor accidents, where they represent 15% of severe injuries and more than 50% of compensation claims. The associated injury mechanisms are not yet fully understood, and clinicians as well as insurers are in need of criteria to allow a better assessment of impact injuries, in particular for which concerns whiplash. Our aim is to explore injury mechanisms that occur during this last kind of impact, in improving and developing Finite-Element models of the human head/neck complex. This was performed by identifying possible mechanisms of injury, which were compared to simulation results. Then, the influence of extrinsic and intrinsic parameters on injury risk was taken into account, allowing to emphasize the potential of defining local criteria in this context. In particular, the study of the influence of morphology led to an evolution of the models towards personalization, based on a geometric reconstruction from stereo-radiography.