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August 23, 2010

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Larry

This is why I have a removable hitch on my car and don't leave the hook on when not in use. When I'm biking, I avoid making lefts right behind a vehicle passing in the other direction; in fact, left turns are best executed while keeping well away from oncoming vehicles of any kind.

Chris

Hey Jim; Ironically, considering your illustrations, consumers can already buy plenty of cool vehicles without paying for protective bumpers: they are called pickups, vans, and SUVs, to which the rear bumper regs have never applied. These rules only apply to passenger cars. A pickup truck doesn't even have to have a rear bumper, never mind one that can take a hit. And we routinely see vehicles like Toyota RAV4 do very poorly in IIHS low speed rear crash tests, because things like spare tire carriers and styling take precedence over bumper functionality. Consumers can have at it!
However, the illustrated bike racks and trailer hitches mounted to receivers should properly be removed from the receivers when not being used to pull a trailer or carry a bike. People who do not do this are, yes, interfering with their bumper's functionality. But people have always been allowed to do this - you can even take the bumper off your car and drive around if you want to. There is no rule against it, nor should there be. Where else would you suggest a trailer hitch be placed?

rob

I'm 100% in agreement with you Jim, especially your point regarding trucks. 10 years ago I was rear-ended by a dump truck with a bumper about 4 feet off the ground. The point of impact was not my bumper but the trunk of my '93 Altima. He hit me so hard the Altima looked like a hatch after the crash and I could read the license plate off what was left of the trunk of my car. I'm very lucky that I wasn't driving something more vulnerable like a hatch. Trucks with elevated bumpers like that shouldn't be allowed on our roads.

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