Bumper Height Mismatch Auto Accidents: A Surprising Safety Concern

Published: 01st August 2009
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Since the bumpers of two vehicles are meant to make first contact during an accident to absorb the brunt of the impact, it seems logical that all vehicles should have bumpers of equal height. Unfortunately, this is not the case: some vehicles have bumpers that are higher or lower than the standard, and some vehicles (like the Toyota Rav4) have no bumpers at all. When bumper mismatch or the absence of a bumper causes or contributes to injuries during an auto accident, negligent auto makers should be held accountable until a stricter standard for bumper height is universally observed.

The goal of bumpers is to absorb the initial impact of a collision in order to decrease the force upon vehicle occupants. Unfortunately, some vehicles, especially SUVs, trucks, and minivans, have bumpers that are higher than the standard height of most auto bumpers.
When a bumper collides directly with a car instead of another bumper, the full force of impact is thrust into one of the weakest parts of the car's frame and can greatly increase the potential for serious injury. In some bumper mismatch accidents, the front end of the rear car in the collision can be forced under the front car and may become wedged, making it especially difficult to free seriously injured victims. Brain damage, spinal cord damage, and paralysis are all common and tragic results of bumper height mismatch accidents.

Bumper Height and Crashworthiness Lawsuits
Though there are strict standards for bumper height in most automobiles, the same standards are not held for SUVs and other larger vehicles. Since SUVs and pickup trucks now account for more than one-half of the vehicles sold in America, this means that an increasing number of non-bumper height compliant vehicles are on our roads. Auto makers have long been aware of the dangers posed by bumper height mismatch, and should have already taken measures to mend this safety threat.

If you or someone you love was injured in an accident and your injuries were compounded by bumper mismatch, you may be able to hold negligent auto makers responsible. Contact an auto product liability or crashworthiness lawyer for a review of your case.

If you are injured in a car accident and you suspect that automotive defects contributed to your injury, consult with a product liability lawyer about your case.

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