If you are an urban or suburban motorist and you are not sure what the regulations are and what kind of protection you should have on your vehicle, please read on. We are here to clear up the confusion.
Nudge bars and bull bars are used to protect vehicles and their drivers when driving off-road.
Bullbars are essential for those who drive in areas where there is a lot of wildlife and livestock.
However, it’s important to note that the use of bullbars is strictly regulated. If you have a bullbar, it’s important you understand this.
Why Are Bull Bars Regulated?
Bullbars are very useful for those who spend a lot of time in offroad conditions. They offer a huge amount of protection from impact.
However, that protection means damage is caused to the very object that you hit.
When you’re driving to the shops or doing the school run, having a bull bar on your car could do more harm than good.
Even a relatively slow collision with a pedestrian could be fatal for them if you have a bull bar.
Because of this, there are strict limits on the size, protrusion, and placement of bull bars.
All new vehicle models released after 1 July 2019 must be designed so that the bull bar’s initial point of contact with any person it collides with is as low as possible.
This means that if there is any head contact with the vehicle in the event of a crash, the pedestrian is directed to the ‘soft’ part of the bonnet, rather than to the lead area, which tends to be much more solid.
Do Nudge Bars Follow the Same Regulations?
Nudge bars differ from bullbars in that they are lighter, and they do not require modification to the front of the system to fit them.
With that said, they are still subject to the same regulations.
The regulations for bull bars do not explicitly specify that they apply to bullbars. Rather, they are for “Vehicle Frontal Protection Systems”.
This includes nudge bars and bullbars as well as other similar protection systems.
All vehicle frontal protection systems should:
- Conform to the shape of the vehicle that they are attached to
- Be compatible with the vehicle and any existing crash protection or detection systems
- Be mounted securely and properly supported
The systems must not:
- Obstruct the driver’s view
- Angle forward more than 75mm
- Protrude above the front line of the vehicle
- Extend to lower than 100mm above ground level
- Be an unreasonable width beyond the side profile of the vehicle
- Have any unnecessary or dangerous protrusions
There are also restrictions on protrusions, and on the weight of the bar.
If you are not sure if a nudge bar would be compatible with your vehicle, it is a good idea to seek expert advice.
Note that airbag systems often trigger when they detect a collision.
The way that nudge bars and bullbars affect how a vehicle slows down might stop the airbags from going off at the correct time.
For this reason, it is important that you ensure that your bullbar or nudge bar design is completely compatible with the vehicle that you are putting it on.
There are specialist bull bar designs that will not impact sensors for crash detection, for example.
If you would like to know more about bull bars, nudge bars, and other protection systems, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We would be happy to discuss your options with you and help you to find a system that is safe and effective both for your own protection and for the protection of those that you are sharing the roads with.
If you are looking for a bullbar or nudge bar for your vehicle then look no further than us at Hektik Automotive Group. We specialise in the supply and installation of a wide variety of automotive accessories, audio-visual and security systems.