220 accidents involving 224 vehicles in a lateral impact were analysed at the site of accident. Patterns and severity of injuries to passengers were analysed. With the help of this systematic analysis it was possible to establish a classification of influential parameters responsible for injuries occurring from a lateral impact. The seating position of the passengers, the vehicle weight, the impact direction, the impact point on the vehicle, use of safety belt, speed reduction of the vehicle at the time of collision as wall as the degree of intrusion into the passenger compartment were included in the evaluation.The study is also of importance for the forensic medicine expert. The data and information can be used to clarify the question of seating positions in accident vehicles as well as the reduction of injury severities by the use of safety belts.