The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) upgraded the side impact protection requirement in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 214 and added dynamic requirements to reduce the likelihood of thoracic injuries in side crashes. As part of the agency's research in developing the requirements of the standard, NHTSA developed a mathematical model for simulation of side impacts.This paper investigates the overall safety performance, based on Thoracic Trauma Index (TTI) as the criteria for passenger cars in real world side crashes, with the aid of the simulation model. A Thoracic Trauma Index Factor (TTIF) is utilized to compare relative safety performance of passenger cars under various conditions of impact. The concept of relating energy dissipation in various side structure and padding countermeasures is used to develop a family of curves that are representative of a design platform. Anticipated improvement in overall TTI and the influence of certain countermeasure characteristics when the vehicle is exposed to many different impact conditions is also presented. The methodology described in the paper could be used by vehicle designers and manufacturers in setting design goals.