The high incidence of injuries in the upper cervical region and cranio-cervical junction point out the importance of continued research into safety measurements to protect this vital area of the human body. Therefore, we collected information on biomechanical tolerance limits of the occipito-atlanto-axial complex from post-mortem radiography and laboratory biomechanical studies.The forces responsible for the injuries seen in the C0-C1-C2 segment are generally complex. In more than 1/4th of the cases, the precise mechanism could not be determined. Many were quite likely due to lateral forces or a combination of several factors.In the currently available European Side Impact Dummy (EUROSID) the dummy neck is composed of a central section made of rubber that links two interfaces, each consisting of two metal disks with rubber elements and a spinal joint inside. With consideration to injury tolerance, instrumentation and data processing, additional measurement channels at the head-neck interface should be included in the design of further experimental developments.