Corner Protection in Low-Speed Crashes 2007-01-1760
Recent estimates of the annual cost to repair vehicle damage from motor vehicle crashes ranges from $17 billion (£9.1 billion) paid by U.K insurers to $45 billion paid by U.S. insurers. Many of these repairs were for damage sustained in low-speed front and rear impacts, with the majority costing less than $2, 500 to repair in both countries. In about a quarter of all claims the damage is limited to the vehicle corners and vehicle bumpers should prevent or limit much of the damage sustained in these minor crashes. However, many vehicles do not have bumper reinforcement beams that extend laterally much beyond the frame rails, leaving expensive vehicle components such as headlamps and fenders (wings) unprotected. Research by IIHS and Thatcham shows that 15 percent overlap front and rear crash tests at 5 km/h into a bumper-shaped barrier produce vehicle damage similar to that seen in real-world crashes and in vehicle-to-vehicle front-to-rear crash tests with low overlap. Tests also show that relatively minor modifications to bumper beams can greatly reduce the extent of this damage in low-speed collisions.