Bull Bars: Safe or Dangerous?

Mechanic and client discussing installation of bull bar

Bull bars are accessories mounted at the front of cars. It is a common sight in New Zealand, especially for SUVs and Utes. They don’t only improve the aesthetics of a vehicle but serve as a safety barrier, as well.

Because of their popularity, bull bars are readily available auto parts in Auckland and other areas of New Zealand. Some people complain that these additions are more harmful than helpful, however. So, which one is the truth?

Great at Absorbing Shock

Bull bars are attached to your vehicle frame using a unique mounting system. They serve as the first line of defence in the instance of a collision, absorbing the kinetic energy generated by the crash. The system enables maximum protection during side impacts, direct impacts and during winching operations.

Some bull bars also serve as a spring, which can further deflect the force of a collision. This enables you to still drive your car even after crashing into another vehicle or object.

Lightest Form of Front-End Protection

Bull bars are a convenient solution for passenger protection. They are currently the lightest form of front-end protection on the market. They protect the radiator grille and surrounding areas without you having to change the bumper bar.

Some Reduction in Air Bag Effectiveness

While bull bars are useful for stopping large animals from hitting the windscreen, they could still endanger passengers in another way. For example, some bull bar designs may interfere with the operation of air bags since it reduces the effectiveness of crumple zones.

Newer bull bars in the market have addressed this issue, however; designers are coming up with solutions, so bull bars won’t interfere with the activation of airbags.

Some are too Big to be Functional

In order to achieve certain aesthetics, some cars have large bull bars. These can be dangerous, though, since they can be too big to function as intended. That’s why New Zealand has certain rules and guidelines about installing bull bars.

Bull bars are not only aesthetically pleasing; they can also serve as a safety barrier between you and danger.