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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

Is It Illegal to Drive Without a Bumper? A Guide to Texas Law

Complying with the law is important for motorists. After all, if a violation causes a car accident, the at-fault driver could be sued for damages. Because life happens and sometimes car bumpers can fall off, understanding what the law has to say about operating a passenger vehicle without a front bumper is important.

This article will discuss the purpose of such equipment and the legal ramifications of driving a car that does not have these vital safety features. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also help with questions like what is the brightest headlight bulb that is legal in Texas?

Understanding the Purpose of Front and Rear Bumpers

Understanding the Purpose of Front and Rear Bumpers

Bumpers on cars are typically located below the license plates and serve two purposes. In addition to their visual appeal, they serve an important function in increasing road safety. The key function of car bumpers is to absorb impact in an accident. They also help to maintain the car's structural integrity.

In terms of traffic safety, these pieces of equipment aid in limiting car damage and injuries to passengers and pedestrians during low-speed collisions.

They are created to absorb and transfer energy, serving as a layer of insulation between the body of the car and other external forces that come into play when a collision occurs. The careful placement of front and rear numbers is so that critical components, such as the vehicle's engine, can be protected from the brunt force of impact. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also advise on an average settlement for concussion Texas.

Is It Illegal to Drive without a Bumper?

The answer to this question is not as straightforward as one might think. To understand the legal consequences of operating a passenger vehicle registered in the state without a bumper, it's important to consult the Texas Transportation Code, which is legislation regulating the state's roadways.

While the law doesn't explicitly call for rear and front bumpers on every car, it does specify precise requirements governing vehicle safety and roadworthiness.

Texas Transportation Code Section § 547.322 requires that vehicles of model year 1968 or later have front and rear bumpers. This rule clearly requires all new cars to have both front and back bumpers, underlining the significance of this safety component.

Why Are Vehicles Manufactured After the Year 1968 Required to Have a Front and Rear Bumper?

As previously discussed, the Texas Transportation Code specifies that all vehicles with a model year of 1968 and upwards should have numbers, but why is this?

Well, the year 1968 serves as a baseline, demonstrating that lawmakers at the time deemed bumpers to be important components of automobiles manufactured after that year. This coincides with changing car safety requirements and emphasizes the importance of bumpers in safeguarding motorists, passengers, and pedestrians.

Although the code fails to define the design or required material for the actual bumper, it insists on their existence as an essential safety precaution.

Are There Any Exceptions to This Rule?

The Texas Transportation Code does make some exceptions for vintage and classic vehicles. Cars over 25 years old and predominantly utilized for public use may be excused from § 547.322's bumper requirements.

However, these exclusions are subject to certain limitations, and owners of such vehicles ought to thoroughly examine the applicable rules to ensure that they follow the law.

It is critical to remember that while exemptions exist for some types of cars, the overall purpose remains to enhance road safety.

The owners of classic and vintage cars should continue to prioritize safety or explore incorporating new safety advancements without ruining the aesthetics of their vehicles. 

The Role That Law Enforcement Plays in Ensuring Compliance

Law enforcement has an important role in maintaining conformity to vehicle laws, such as the presence of bumpers. Regular traffic stops or car inspections may result in penalties if an individual is found to be driving a car without bumpers.

During vehicle checks, which are required for most Texas cars, inspectors evaluate a variety of safety factors, including the presence and performance of bumpers. If the car fails to fulfill the essential safety requirements, it may be declared unsuitable for road usage until the necessary repairs are done.

What Happens If a Driver Operates a Vehicle Without a Front and Rear Bumper?

As discussed previously, the law regarding front and rear bumpers is enforced rigorously, and violations could have legal implications. Citations may be issued, resulting in fines and possible court appearances. Other penalties may also apply, depending on the nature of the infringement, so it is important for motorists to ensure that they understand what the law requires of them.

Moreover, the implications extend beyond legal consequences. Without a car's bumper, the structural integrity and safety of the driver, passengers, and others can be compromised. That's because, without this important feature, the other components of the car could be impacted during a collision, which can result in the occupants being affected as well.

The Importance of Fixing a Damaged Bumper Promptly

The Importance of Fixing a Damaged Bumper Promptly

Motorists whose vehicles suffered bumper damage, whether as a result of an accident or normal wear and tear, must get it repaired or replaced right away. Overlooking broken bumpers compromises a driver's safety and could also expose them to legal consequences. 

Replacing or fixing a broken bumper usually entails working with an automotive expert to ensure that the relevant safety standards are met. Hiring a professional can also ensure that the bumper maintains its aesthetic qualities, in addition to meeting the standards for roadworthiness.

Need Help Navigating the Law Regarding a Rear or Front Bumper?

The truth is that bumpers, the strips of material found below the license plate, play an important role in safeguarding the occupants of a vehicle. In an accident or car crash, it can help to lessen the blow and keep important components intact. However, when things go wrong and a bumper cover no longer serves its purpose in a collision, a driver can take legal action in some cases against the manufacturer for their injuries.

However, to do so, it's important for victims to hire top personal injury attorneys in Houston to review the driver's car insurance contract and prepare a compelling case against the at-fault party.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are here to help personal injury claimants obtain due compensation. Unlike other motor vehicle lawyers, the firm is prepared to go to war for them. It offers free consultations for victims to discuss the details of their case with an experienced car legal advisor.


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