This study involved the generation, validation and evaluation of the finite element muscle model of the human neck, with a long term goal of predicting the cervical spine motion. The neck muscle model was developed from cross-sectional slice picture data of the human neck using image based techniques. This was then adapted into a finite element model of the muscular system, and integrated into an existing finite element skeletal structure. The integrated finite element model was validated against data obtained from volunteer testing of low-speed rear-end impacts. The primary criteria used for validation were head center of gravity angular displacement and acceleration, and were found to each comply appropriately. Using the validated model, the forces and stresses induced in each of the key neck muscles during a rear impact simulation were recorded, and the influence of the muscles on the cervical vertebra motions was also identified. These results highlight the benefits that can be obtained from using a muscle based neck model for investigating the local motion of the neck, and the effect of these local motions on minor neck injuries.