You know, when I was learning to drive for the first time, my father would jokingly say, “back off until it sounds expensive.” Well, in those days, the 50s and 60s, you could actually do that. You could hit something and there would hardly be a dent or scratch on the old Chevy truck. But don’t try that today.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the most expensive midsize SUV they had to repair after the 5 mph “rear-to-post” crash test was the Isuzu Trooper. 2000. That’s 5 mph; just above walking speed, and the vehicle was damaged for $ 3,317. Part of the reason for all this damage is that the spare tire is hanging off the end gate. When the vehicle encounters something like a pole or another vehicle, the spare tire crushes the end door, explodes the rear window, and in some cases pulls the gaps in the side fender inward.

Between 1999 and 2003, of the 10 most expensive SUVs to repair from that same crash test (in which we were able to find records) as tested by the IIHS, 7 of them had the spare tire hanging from the end door. Those vehicles (and the damage they sustained) included the Isuzu Trooper ($ 3,317), Mitsubishi Montero ($ 2,961), Toyota RAV4 ($ 2,719), Honda CR-V ($ 2,727), Land Rover Freelander ($ 2,096), Suzuki . Grand Vitara XL7 ($ 2,175) and the Jeep Liberty ($ 1,627). IIHS ‘Brian O’Neill probably said it best: “SUVs can be advertised as rugged, and manufacturers are telling potential buyers they can drive these vehicles anywhere the adventure takes them. But consumers can expect big repair bills. if they are unlucky enough to overcome them, so-called rugged vehicles hit something at low speed. “

It has been 27 years since the consumer has had a 5 mph bumper (1982). Now we only have 2.5 mph bumpers and, only on passenger cars. There are NO federal bumper standards for pickup trucks, SUVs, or minivans, which is one of the reasons they get it wrong. Even in the passenger car standards, the rules allow unlimited damage to the bumper. And, the average cost to repair a full-size pickup truck bumper from 5 mph rear to post collision is $ 1,618, and that’s at 2004 prices. And some trucks and SUVs aren’t even tested because the IIHS only tests the most popular vehicles.

Now the IIHS has dropped the rear pole test because most automakers complained that it was not a “fair” test. But there are a ton of parking poles waiting to get into your vehicle. The IIHS also found that some of the automakers were cheating by adding additional energy absorbing material right where the vehicle would hit the pole.

Today, the lightest hit from a vehicle can cause damage from $ 450 to more than $ 2,000. The average cost to repair a plastic bumper is $ 450 and the average cost to replace a plastic bumper is $ 900. And if you have a vehicle with a backup alarm, you’re looking for double that amount. A back-up alarm can help you avoid hitting something, but it doesn’t help in a rear-end collision.
Every year there are more than 12 million rear-end collisions in the US, both reported and unreported, and more than 8 million plastic bumpers are replaced each year. Rear-end collision accounts for 38% of all dollars paid for auto claims and you can no longer afford to make a claim. The typical insurance premium will increase 40% if a claim is made.

There are thousands of traffickers, uninsured motorists, distracted drivers, inattentive cell phone users, poor judgment drivers, text messengers, and lousy parallel parkers trying to wreck your vehicle, cripple your family, steal your deductible and jeopardize your insurance. . . Currently, there are products on the market that can help you defend yourself. Do your homework and start protecting your family, vehicle and insurance; You can’t afford not to.

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