Are Adhesive Bumper Guards Legal?

Adhesive bumper guards are a good investment that will reduce the chances that you find yourself wondering how to fix bumper damage.

Adhesive bumper guards help to shield your bumper from scrapes and scratches, does not affect the underlying paint, and are easy to install.

There are other forms of bumper protection, such as bumper pads for protection while parked, and bull bars. Of course, no one wants a ticket. Before purchasing or installing any type of bumper protection, you must determine if it is legal.

Are Bull Bars Legal?

Bull bars go by several different names including brush guards and push guards. They are found on some police vehicles to help officers push disabled vehicles.

Bull bars are large and made out of very strong metal. They are usually found on trucks and SUVs and can prove useful in rural areas where collisions with large animals are possible. The intimidating appearance may even make people hesitate before tailgating you.

This being said, bull bars are generally considered a dangerous accessory and illegal. Most states in the United States prohibit bull bars, and the Indian government has outright banned them countrywide.

Bull bars can cause severe damage to other vehicles and increases the risk of both drivers in a collision getting injured. Modern vehicles are designed while keeping the safety of drivers and pedestrians in mind, and bull bars, brush guards and push guards hinder the effectiveness of the vehicle’s design.

As you could imagine, pedestrians are at a particular risk since the impact will be concentrated on the bull bars. The threat to the driver and pedestrian safety has led to this accessory being outlawed in many locations.

Are Adhesive Bumper Guard Strips Legal?

Some bumper strips are only cosmetic so when you consider those bumper strips versus bumper skid plates, adhesive bumper guard strips do not seem worth it.

Do not be fooled, there are two different types. Bumper strips and bumper GUARD strips are different. Bumper guard strips are so useful that you will often see them on vehicles in car lots to protect them for sale.

Generally, these are completely legal since they do not cover the license plate, are not a danger to drivers or pedestrians, and do not cause the vehicle to be considered unsafe.

Are Bumper Pads for Protection While Parked Legal?

Although bumper pads will not provide protection to the underside of your bumper from steep driveways, they can help you protect your bumper from over drivers parking near you while you’re away from your vehicle.

If you live in a location where this type of damage is common (especially due to parallel parking), this may be a good option for you.

Be sure to check with your local law enforcement for applicable laws before getting a bumper pad product like Bumper Bully or Bumper Badger because some states and localities prohibit covering your license plate even if it is not being driven. Some places may even consider it a “novelty license plate” and deem it prohibited.

Each Location Has Different Laws

Not only do different types of bumper guards have different laws regulating them, but laws can also vary greatly from one place to another.

Different countries and different states have completely different rules. For example, 21 states in the United States of America have statutes that make road-safe bumpers mandatory, but most do not specify what they mean when they say, “road safe”.

To complicate matters even further, the vast majority of states in the United States allow police officers to ticket people if they deem their vehicle unsafe.

Some bumper protection products, like SLiPLO’s Universal Skid Plate, are legal in all states in the United States. Other bumper protection products, like bumper pads, are only legal under certain situations in certain places. For example, you may be able to utilize your bumper pads in a Wal-Mart parking lot in some states, but not when parking on a street.

The best way to determine if a bumper guard is legal is by contacting your local law authorities and asking. They will know best if something is or is not permitted. If you have required inspections in your state, you could also contact them to ask.

Other Considerations

Besides the legality of bumper guards, there are other things you should consider. As already covered, you should ensure that your bumper guard of choice is safe for yourself, your vehicle, and those around you.

You should also ensure that the bumper guard does not inhibit the view of your license plate and that it does not interfere with your parking assistance or back up sensors.

If you are getting an adhesive bumper guard, you are lucky that no drilling is required that will obviously damage your original bumper. That being said, you also want to make sure that the adhesive used can be removed when it comes time to sell your vehicle. You do not want to ruin the paint job underneath. Luckily, most adhesive bumper guards use 3M adhesive that can be removed by a professional without ruining your factory paint job.

Wrapping Up

Adhesive bumper guards are the best option for bumper protection, along with a bumper skid plate, for most drivers. They provide protection from dings and scratches, can be removed without damaging your paint, and are very likely to be legal wherever you are located.

Bull bars, brush guards and push guards are illegal in many states along with entire countries because they pose a danger to pedestrians, cause an unreasonable amount of damage during collisions, and puts both drivers at risk.

Bumper pads are nice because they can be put on and off easily with Velcro on the carpet in the back of your vehicle while buffering from impact when parked. On the other hand, they have to be put installed and removed every time you park and may be illegal to use in some situations in some states.

The best thing you can do is contact your local law enforcement to find out what the local statutes and ordinances are since they differ from place to place.


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