In thepast, the relationships between the dynamic load on the human thorax, simulating automotive crash conditions, and the resulting injuries have been obtained from observations with experimentals ubjects. In addition, lumped mass-spring damper models (1) were used to approximate the dynamic responses of the thorax under impact conditions and these were compared with the deflections of cadavers and anthropomorphic test devices. In the work presented here, in an effort to better understand the underlying injury mechanisms, a finite element model of the thorax has been generated and tested utilizing the 3-dimensional finite element code DYNA3D (2). The thorax was represented by elastic bone, ligament and cartilage, and viscoelastic muscle and interior elements. Input parameters were varied and the sensitivity of the dynamic response to these variations is shown. The dynamic response of the thorax model was compared to available cadaver test data and the resulting strain field was examined and is discussed.