An analytic - experimental technique has been developed which provides a capability to predict barrier performance through the use of three new tools.The first is a computer simulation program of barrier impact which requires as input the static crush characteristics of eight forestructural components. The second is a vehicle component crusher. Through the use of the two, it is possible to simulate accurately an unlimited number of barrier tests for a vehicle at speeds between zero and 30 mph. The output of this program includes vehicle motion, deformation, and the dynamic forces transmitted to the passenger compartment.The third is a mathematical model representing a first approximation of the passenger compartment valid in the elastic range. Presently, it provides an analytic solution for the stresses and deformations of a vehicle body under a static frontal load.The combined system of analytical models has provided the means for a better understanding of barrier impact and the development of improved crashworthiness.