A need exists for a reliable and economical analytical aid for designing vehicle structures for controlled crash energy management. Several of the crash simulation methods, currently available to the designer in the evaluation and development of vehicle structures for crash, are reviewed with respect to their capabilities and shortcomings as design aids.An analytical technique is presented, structured along the lines of a design aid and based on a finite element beam model concept. The functions of the various elements of the code are discussed in the context of typical crash events one needs to consider in the design of a structure composed of beam- and column-type elements. The heart of the proposed system code VRUSH is a component code SECOLLAPSE which monitors and predicts crush responses of thin wall structural components and which controls the input into the system code. Also presented are models generated by SECOIXAPSE for typical loading cases. Results of SECOLLAPSE analysis of a typical automotive section are generated and shown to agree very closely with test results.