Car bumpers have been around in various forms for a long time. From beefy blocks to flashy chrome, they come in all shapes and sizes. As ubiquitous as they are, there are a lot of misconceptions about what they can and cannot do. Keep reading to find out what role they play and why it’s important to keep them safe with a rear bumper protector.

Accident Protection

The main reason bumpers were invented was to help protect the car’s more fragile moving parts in the event of a collision. It’s essentially a type of “buffer zone” that can absorb some impact, protecting the more expensive parts from damage. However, don’t assume that bumpers–especially modern bumper covers–are immune to damage. They’re less costly to repair than the rest of your car, but they’re still easily damaged. Avoiding preventable damage can help keep them in the best shape possible. For instance, you can install a bumper protector to reduce scratches that lead to rust.

Passenger Safety

One common misconception about bumpers is that they help protect passengers in the event of a crash. The truth is, they don’t actually do that much–that’s the job of your air bags. The role of the bumper is more to protect the car from damage, not the people inside.

Pedestrian Safety

On the other hand, modern bumpers are designed to cause less damage to pedestrians involved in a car accident. The front bumper has been especially affected by these changes. Its cover is lower to the ground and made out of more flexible material than in previous decades. This lets it crumple and cushion the impact on a pedestrian, while the lowered height helps prevent pedestrians from being accidentally dragged underneath the vehicle.

Specialized Bumpers

There are some situations that call for specialized bumpers, such as off-road vehicle safety. These vehicles often have heavy bumpers such as stinger bumpers that help keep them more stable as they go up and down hills, reducing their risk of overturning.

In rural areas, it’s also still common to see front bumpers with grille guards, often called “cow catchers” or “bull bars.” These were created to reduce damage to your car caused by a collision with wildlife. However, since they cause more damage to pedestrians in a collision, their use is restricted or prohibited in some areas.

Other Uses

Depending on your vehicle, your bumper may have additional uses. Some are used as steps, especially in trucks. They may even have a built-in step that makes it easier to climb in and out of the truck bed. Your bumper is also important if you need to attach a trailer to your vehicle. With all the wear and tear your bumper can undergo, it’s important to protect it with a bumper protector. This keeps your bumper in good shape so it can do its job of protecting your car.

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