Bull bars, as the name suggests, are designed to protect you and your vehicle from collisions with animals. For those driving in deer-populated areas, getting a bull bar would certainly be a good investment since over 90% of animal collisions in the United States involve deer. A bull bar can also be a good accessory since it allows you to mount radio antennas, spot lights, and vehicle winches on it-turning your ride into a serious off-road vehicle. A bull bar also gives your vehicle a rugged, tougher look.
Here are some things to consider when getting a bull bar:
- Check if a bull bar has been designed to suit your specific vehicle or if it is a universal bull bar designed for a wide range of vehicles. The latter may be cheaper, but it will give you less quality and protection.
- Bull bars usually made of either pure steel or an alloy. Steel bull bars are more durable and can withstand stronger impacts. However, they are also much heavier and may be quite a burden on your vehicle's suspension system. Alloy bull bars are not as strong as steel bull bars, but they are lighter. Because of this difference in weight, we recommend steel bull bars for heavy, four-wheel-drive vehicles and alloy bull bars for lighter, rear-wheel-drive (or front-wheel-drive) vehicles.
- Make sure the bull bar you get is compatible with your vehicle's air bags. In the event of a high-speed collision, an incompatible bull bar may interfere with the timing of your vehicle's airbags. This would make your airbags inflate either too early or too late-a problem which spells disaster for you and your passengers.
- Get a bull bar that is designed with a secure mounting system. A bull bar that is fastened to your vehicle by a just a few bolts to the chassis rails will not give you the protection you need. An ideal mounting system virtually makes a bull bar an extension of your vehicle's chassis and is braced to absorb impact across a wide area, thus giving you maximum protection.
- Familiarize yourself with state laws regarding bull bars. If you plan on taking your vehicle abroad, bear in mind that bull bars are banned in European Union countries.
Also, be sure to check your vehicle's owner manual for any specifications regarding bull bars. Remember these tips and you will soon be enjoying a tougher and more secure driving experience.