In the past decades car structures have been optimized for the most frequent accident, the frontal impact. Together with the restraint systems (safety belt, airbag) they provide good protection for the front passengers in this type of collision. Due to this fact the side impact must now get relatively more importance. Today, more than one third of seriously injured occupants are the consequences of vehicle side collisions.In order to test and classify vehicle safety in side collisions, different test procedures have been proposed. The basic assumption of these test procedures is that the striking car can be replaced by a moveable barrier. A comparative study of side impacts with moving rigid and deformable barriers has been performed by means of the finite element technique. Numerical simulation of crash processes, explicit finite element codes like DYNA3D and supercomputers like a CRAY Y-MP, provides an efficient and promising tool for the analysis of deformation behaviour of structural components and permits profound studies of different variants at early stages of the design process.