A comprehensive strategy for applying quasi-static and dynamic tests in the development of automobile side impact protection systems is presented. The approach is geared towards providing an understanding of how vehicle components relate to occupant protection as measured by the FMVSS 214 dynamic side impact test. These test methods are viewed as being complimentary, rather than competitive, tools to be employed in the overall strategy.The approach begins with obtaining detailed data from an FMVSS 214 dynamic test. Additional instrumentation is required so that the results of the test can be used to form the basis for setting conditions for subsequent quasi-static and dynamic tests.The Composite Test Procedure (CTP) is an integral part of the process. As described here, the CTP can be conducted under three different methods; three step procedure, continuous computer control, and continuous manual control. The principal value of the CTP method is to obtain spatial relationships within the door structure, overall force-deflection properties of the vehicle body structure, and input for a simplified, linear spring mass model to represent the FMVSS 214 dynamic test.Door structures are tested to provide a preliminary evaluation of door modifications, including both structure and trim panel, without resorting to full vehicle body development and build. The methods for door tests include both quasi-static, where the door structure and trim panel are evaluated, and dynamic (sled), where door trim panels are evaluated. Results obtained from these component tests can be related to full scale crash testing through mathematical modelling.The complimentary nature of these test methods is then discussed relative to improving performance in an FMVSS 214 dynamic test. A flow chart showing the relationship to a complete vehicle development program is presented and discussed.