Are Bumpers Important ?

Can I Drive Without Bumpers?

Safety is of utmost importance when you are driving a vehicle. The purpose of bumpers is to reduce or prevent physical damage to the front and rear of vehicles during a  crash. The modern bumper is designed in such a way that it crumples upon impact which helps in minimizing the damage to critical vehicle components such as the engine. Materials like steel, aluminum, rubber, and plastic are used in the manufacturing of bumpers. Modern bumpers are also designed to look attractive and feature aerodynamic capabilities. Front bumpers also help in preventing serious injuries to pedestrians. This is why it is important for you to know the significance of car bumpers and why you should not drive without one.

In this article:

What Are The Functions Of A Bumper?

Prevent Serious Injury

The car bumper serves to protect pedestrians from getting severe injuries in a collision. Older vehicles have bumpers made of metal that are unable to absorb the load, rather transfer it to the other end. So, metals are not the optimum material for bumpers. As a result, modern bumpers are manufactured using materials like plastic, rubber, fiberglass, etc. which tend to absorb forces and nullify the effect. Such materials and careful design help minimize the impact on pedestrians and prevent serious injuries.

Minimizes Impact Of Collision

Older cars mostly used bumpers made of metal, which gets dented after the impact. Since metal is harder to work with, having metal bumpers is not only less cost-effective, but also damages the vehicle more. Therefore, modern bumpers are made from plastic, rubber, fiberglass, etc. that can absorb the impact of a collision to a large extent. On impact, modern bumpers crumple which helps absorb the force, preventing damage to the underlying vehicle components. Metal elements within the bumpers help to sustain the damage received. These components within the bumper are easily replaceable and in many cases repairable, which helps drive down maintenance costs of the vehicle. 

Improved Aerodynamics

The movement of air around and through an automobile has a significant impact on its speed, acceleration, and fuel efficiency. The modern front bumper is designed to make the car more aerodynamic. The use of plastics allows the bumpers to be shaped in more intricate designs. This will not only help with aesthetics but also reduce resistance caused by air which in turn boosts fuel economy. Modern bumpers are accompanied by components like splitters and diffusers. A car splitter is usually found at the front, attached to the bottom of the bumper. A car splitter acts like a wedge that forces the high-pressure air to go above the vehicle and reduces the lift resulting in a net positive downforce, providing more traction to the vehicle. The diffuser acts as an expansion chamber to manage the air as it exits from underneath the car. So, it also helps in gaining downforce and more traction. Bumpers also incorporate channels that guide air towards the wheels and brakes which helps in cooling the brake system. 

To Install Various Sensors

Parking sensors are mounted on the bumper. The role of parking sensors is critical in a car because they help drivers when parking. As the vehicle gets closer to another vehicle or an object, the sensor starts beeping. Apart from parking sensors, impact sensors are also mounted on the bumper as well as on the front doors of vehicles as this is where a collision is likely to occur. This impact sensor is required to measure the intensity of collision to determine whether the impact is over a certain threshold to justify the deployment of an airbag. 

To Install Fog Lights

The bumper of the car also serves as a place to install fog lights. The presence of fog lights is beneficial in foggy or rainy road conditions. With fog lights, you can drive safely even if the weather conditions are not good. A fog light gives a golden yellow light & is not absorbed by the thick fog and hence is much more visible to the on-coming traffic. Secondly, fog lights are mounted lower down than a conventional headlight and hence lights-up the way in the nearby vicinity of the vehicle. Canada has inclement weather conditions regularly, which necessitates the use of fog lights. Therefore, having a bumper with correctly functioning fog lights ensures you have safe visibility even during bad weather conditions.

Can I Drive A Vehicle With No Bumper?

Even if your car can move after a collision, it may not be drivable in the eyes of the law. Although laws may differ based on your location, most states have laws that do not allow driving damaged cars if there is a potential danger to passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians. Bumpers may become cracked or loose during collisions. If your bumper appears to be ready to fall off or has sustained damage that may hurt pedestrians or others on the road, it is safer not to drive that vehicle. In such cases, it is always recommended to tow your vehicle to a nearby garage or your home. 


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John Framigllia
Technical Writer
Our technical writer is known for simplifying automotive parts and services. Intuitive with various vehicles and manufacturers, he knows how to simplify complicated problems.