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When we encounter police cars on the road, it’s not uncommon to notice a significant addition to their front ends—a giant bumper that stands out from the typical design of civilian vehicles. These heavy-duty accessories are known as push bumpers or bull bars. They serve multiple purposes and are primarily used by law enforcement agencies to enhance the functionality and safety of their vehicles in various situations.

Push bumpers and variations

A push bumper is a reinforced metal structure mounted on the front of a vehicle. It is designed to provide additional protection and utility in various situations. While the exact design and configuration may vary, push bumpers generally consist of a sturdy steel or aluminum frame extending beyond the vehicle’s front bumper. They are typically positioned at a height that allows for effective collision prevention or mitigation.

Several variations of push bars are available at Trick Trucks, each with its specific design features and purposes. Some popular types include the standard push bumper, the wraparound push bumper, and the modular push bumper.

Uses of push bumpers on police cars and SUVs

The implementation of push bumpers on police cars and SUVs serves several purposes, with some concerns being more relevant to law enforcement vehicles than civilian ones. Here are some of its main uses:

Collision prevention and mitigation: Push bumpers are primarily installed to prevent or minimize damage in low-speed collisions. Law enforcement vehicles must often navigate through traffic or respond to emergencies quickly. The push bumper acts as a protective barrier, absorbing the impact and reducing damage to the vehicle’s front end.

PIT maneuvers: Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT) maneuvers are tactical driving techniques law enforcement uses to stop fleeing vehicles safely. A push bumper plays a crucial role in these maneuvers by allowing the pursuing vehicle to make controlled contact with the rear side of the fleeing vehicle, destabilizing it and bringing it to a stop.

Wildlife collisions: Police departments operating in rural or suburban areas often encounter wildlife on roads, posing a risk to both officers and the animals. According to Quora, push bumpers on police cars and SUVs can help minimize the damage caused by collisions with deer or other large animals, reducing the risk of injury and preventing further accidents.

Concerns regarding pedestrian safety

While push bumpers offer practical benefits to law enforcement vehicles, concerns have been raised regarding pedestrian safety. The design and construction of some push bumpers may increase the severity of injuries in case of collisions with pedestrians. According to the Argus Leader, the rigid nature and lack of energy-absorbing features in certain push bumper designs can result in more severe injuries or fatalities when pedestrians are struck.

To address this concern, it is important for law enforcement agencies to consider the potential risks and benefits associated with push bumper implementation. Some modifications have been made to push bumper designs to incorporate energy-absorbing features or more pedestrian-friendly designs, prioritizing the safety of both officers and the public.

Striking a balance between functionality and pedestrian safety

Push bumpers, commonly seen on the front of police cars and SUVs, serve a vital role in law enforcement operations. They provide collision prevention and mitigation, assist in PIT maneuvers, and help protect against wildlife collisions. However, concerns have been raised regarding pedestrian safety. Striking the right balance between functionality and safety is crucial to ensure the efficient and responsible use of push bumpers on law enforcement vehicles.


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