The two most frequent vehicle accidents are getting hit while parked and rear end collision. For the rear end collision, approximately 75% of them are less than 10 miles per hour, 94% occur on straight roads and most are direct hits. The average claim is less than $1,500.

Just from the 5 mile per hour “rear into pole” crash tests done by the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety, the best rear bumper on a pickup truck sustained over $600 damage in 2004 (the last time the IIHS tested pickup trucks) and the worst sustained over $2,000 damage. SUV bumpers had even more damage in this walking speed accident with the worst sustaining over $4,000 damage.

You can see why bumper manufacturing companies and auto repair facilities are smiling. The average number of plastic bumpers being replaced each year is over 8 million with the average cost to repair a plastic bumper $450 and the average cost to replace one is $900. And what are they made of – thin metal, plastic, fiberglass and even foam – very flimsy stuff. Today, if you hit the bumper, you hit the car. And there are thousands of tailgaters, inattentive, distracted drivers, drivers with poor judgment and lousy-stinking parallel parkers out there just ready to wreck your vehicle.

In 2007 I did a live radio talk show interview on The Auto Channel about rear end collisions and one of the interviewers was an auto body repair guy. The host of the show asked this body shop guy: “Are you interested in having people protect themselves? (from a rear end collision)” and his answer was; “Not necessarily.” And he continued on by adding; “For those of us in the body shop business, that’s how we make our living.” I didn’t get real warm and fuzzy feelings from this guy at all. And I totally understood since I was introducing a product that would eliminate a lot of his business.

But, after having been in a rear end collision, all the hassle that it entailed, the amount of damage we sustained and the threat of my insurance going up, I decided to do something about it – and the auto body shops don’t like it at all. Needless to say I won’t have to worry about advertising in any auto body magazines or web sites.

Today, if you paid $40,000 for a new car, totaled it and wanted to put it back together again with new parts, it would cost you $150,000. Auto body shops and automobile manufacturers don’t lose money in their parts departments. And like Andy Rooney from 60 Minutes once said; “bumpers don’t protect anything except the income of automobile parts departments.”

You can take a proactive approach to this huge problem and protect your family, vehicle and insurance before the “auto body shops” get you or you can wait until it happens and wish you’d done something about it. There are products on the market today that will prevent a lot of this damage. And when nearly 15% of the drivers out there are uninsured and you’re armed with a $500 deductible it’s defiantly worth your time to try to find them.

Jeff is CEO of Mohr Mfg is an expert in rear end collisions. His company makes portable, energy absorbing, spare safety bumpers or “hitch steps” that install in seconds and protect your vehicle from rear-end collision damage, reduce whiplash injuries, shield your gas tank from under-ride and eliminate parking lot and parallel parking dents and dings. For additional information: