It is important to understand human kinematics and muscle activation patterns in emergency maneuvers for the design of safety systems and for the further development of human models. The objective of this study was to quantify kinematic behavior and muscle activation in simulated steering tests in several realistic conditions. In total 108 tests were performed with 10 volunteers undergoing purely lateral maneuvers at 5 m/s2 deceleration or simulated lane change maneuvers at 5 m/s2 peak acceleration and peak yaw velocity of 25 °/s. Test subjects were seated on a rigid seat and restrained by a 4-point belt with retractor. Driver subjects were instructed to be relaxed or braced and to hold the steering wheel while passenger subjects were instructed to put their hands on their thighs. Subjects were instrumented with photo markers that were tracked with 3D high-speed stereo cameras and with electromyography (EMG) electrodes on 8 muscles. Corridors of head displacement, pitch and roll and displacement of T1, shoulder, elbow, hand and knee were created representing mean response and standard deviation of all subjects. In lane change tests for the passenger configuration significant differences were observed in mean peak of head left lateral displacement between the relaxed and the braced volunteers, i.e. 171 mm (σ=58, n=21) versus 121 mm (σ=46, n=17), respectively. Sitting in a relaxed position led to significantly lower muscle activity of the neck muscles. It was concluded that significantly more upper body motion and lower muscle activity was observed for relaxed subjects than for braced subjects.