Is your Bumper Really Bumping Out the Bumps?

By: KatieJones

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is one of the most trusted sources of information when it comes to car and driving safety. Now, this group is saying that after doing some tests, they were able to find out that just how a car's bumper works (or does not work) to keep a vehicle safe during fender benders.

The group did test midsized vehicles and had 17 units to work with. Among that number, only three units did do well. These three vehicles are the Mitsubishi Galant, the Mazda6, and the Toyota Camry. They have been able to take in around $1500 worth of damage or even less during each crash test that the IIHS did. The other vehicles that the IIHS tested had bumpers which did not quite work well. After the tests, they estimated that the other vehicles took home damages that are around $4,500 to a whopping $9000.

Adrian Lund is the president of the IIHS and on these tests and studies, he shares, "Our tests measure how well bumpers protect cars from damage in everyday bumps. The whole purpose of bumpers is to keep damage away from headlights, hoods, and other parts that are expensive to repair, but this purpose was accomplished in only 2 of the 68 tests we conducted. In the rest, what we found is that bumpers aren't up to the job."

Looking deeper into the situation, it is then quite a reality when insurance companies are saying that they have been able to send out more than $6 billion per year on claims for damages during front crashes and rear impacts. Sure, if a bumper does not work well, rear and front impact crashes could actually mean much damage to your and even to yourself if things to even worse.

Lund does further express, "We don't want the automakers to change bumper heights just to get good performance in our tests. We want car bumpers to resist damage in real crashes with other cars as well as with higher-riding SUVs and pickups, so we revamped our tests to reflect such crashes. In particular, we want to encourage automakers to use bumpers with energy-absorbing bars that extend farther into vehicle corners to reduce damage to headlights and other critical and costly equipment. We want car bumpers that are taller so they engage the bumpers on SUVs and pickups instead of underriding them."

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