Those of us who represent automobile collision victims deal daily with the insurance company argument that our client couldn’t have been hurt because there wasn’t extensive damage to the client’s vehicle. But now an official federal government Web site can help us counter that argument.
NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has a page about automobile bumper questions and answers. The beginning of the page is intriguing:
1) What is a bumper? A bumper is a shield made of steel, aluminum, rubber, or plastic that is mounted on the front and rear of a passenger car. When a low speed collision occurs, the bumper system absorbs the shock to prevent or reduce damage to the car. Some bumpers use energy absorbers or brackets and others are made with a foam cushioning material. 2) What is the purpose of bumpers? The car bumper is designed to prevent or reduce physical damage to the front and rear ends of passenger motor vehicles in low-speed collisions. Automobile bumpers are not typically designed to be structural components that would significantly contribute to vehicle crash worthiness or occupant protection during front or rear collisions. It is not a safety feature intended to prevent or mitigate injury severity to occupants in the passenger cars. Bumpers are designed to protect the hood, trunk, grille, fuel, exhaust and cooling system as well as safety related equipment such as parking lights, headlamps and taillights in low speed collisions.