The purpose of having a bumper on your car is very specific. Many people think that its purpose is to prevent or lessen injury severity in a crash. In fact, many consider bumpers to not be safety features that protect occupants at all. The purpose of bumpers is to reduce or prevent physical damage to the front and rear of vehicles in low-speed crashes. By design, bumpers protect the hood, trunk, grille, fuel, exhaust, and cooling system. A bumper is a shield that is usually made of steel, aluminum, rubber, or plastic. It absorbs shocks from car accidents.
The standard requires protection in the region 16 to 20 inches above the road surface. It also says the front and rear bumpers should prevent damage at barrier impact speeds of 2.5 mph across the full width and 1.5 mph on the corners. The manufacturer can do these things in whatever way they prefer. For example, they don’t have to have one go totally across if they have bumper guards and corner guards placed strategically. You might think that all vehicles have to follow the Federal Regulations for bumpers. But, that is not the case. this Federal standard only applies to passenger vehicles: cars, SUVs, minivans, and pickup trucks. No other vehicle type has these regulations. This is because a bumper could compromise the loading ramp operations or off-road situations.
The bumper protection standard mentioned above has not been updated since 1982, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not run tests in regards to the bumper standard since 1987.
How Do I Know If My Car’s Bumper Meets or Exceeds the Standard?
Vehicle manufacturers self-certify their products to meet the bumper standard, though they might be exceeding the standard. Many manufacturers voluntarily put bumper protection performance information on window stickers of new passenger cars. Only California and Hawaii require manufacturers to specifically disclose a vehicle’s bumper performance capabilities.
If you have any personal injury-related questions, contact us online or call us at (813) 915-1110 and we’ll be happy to answer them.