A sample of 31 real world side-impact chrashes was selected for detailed analysis of the thoracic injuries observed in near-side occupants. The occupant kinematic data used in this study was based on the results from investigations carried out in the context of EEC programs on biomechanics. A clinical data base was established, and detection of the actual sites of contusive hemorrhage in the lungs of trauma patients allows informed speculation on the relative contribution of pathodynamic mechanisms in various types of blunt chest trauma. It was found that the injury mechanisms of visceral injuries are not the same in real accidents and in cadaver experiments. To give much confidence on cadaver data for the development of side impact dummies may result in misleading conclusions.