Explained: Why are bull bars and crash guards on Indian cars banned

If you still haven't removed that muscular bull bar in the front of your car, there is now enough reason to visit you local mechanic to have it taken off. Apart from being illegal - yes, you are liable to be prosecuted if found in a vehicle with a bull bar, there is a safety risk to you and other passengers in the vehicle in the event of an unfortunate accident.

Bull guards may or may not prevent damage to the exterior body of a vehicle in case of an accident but it can hamper safety functionalities of a number of other devices on board.
Bull guards may or may not prevent damage to the exterior body of a vehicle in case of an accident but it can hamper safety functionalities of a number of other devices on board.

The Indian government has banned the installation of bull bars and crash guards on the front and rear of all passenger vehicles. The penalty for offenders ranges from anywhere between 1,000 and 5,000. This is apart from the fact that cops will ensure on-spot removal of those bars.

Bull guards may be removed at home but it is best to ask the local mechanic to do so safely.
Bull guards may be removed at home but it is best to ask the local mechanic to do so safely.
Bull guards may be removed at home but it is best to ask the local mechanic to do so safely.
Bull guards may be removed at home but it is best to ask the local mechanic to do so safely.

But is what you thought as an extra layer of protection for your vehicle really far more risky to have than not have? Here's why bull bars and crash guards are illegal in India:

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Airbag deployment:

A bull bar or crash guard installed on a vehicle hinders the safe and timely deployment of airbags in the case of an accident. Because the impact is on the guard and not the front sensors of the vehicle, the front airbags may not deploy at all, or deploy late, which means the very purpose of having this safety feature is negated. You also paid for the airbags that came fitted in your vehicle, why not ensure it serves its purpose in protecting all occupants?

Damage to chassis:

In many instances, the bull bar or crash guard is fitted on to the chassis of a vehicle. In the case of an accident, there is a chance that the chassis is damaged by the impact on the bars. While this obviously depends on the intensity of the impact, any damage to the chassis can potentially render your vehicle useless.

Risk for pedestrians:

Studies have shown that when a vehicle hits a pedestrian, the chances of being seriously hurt is more when he or she is hit by a car's bull guard than by the car itself.

Crumple zone:

A structural safety feature, modern-day cars have several crumple zones which allow for controlled deformation in case of a collision. This allows for the impact of the intensity of a collision to be reduced inside the cabin. But a vehicle with a bull bar or crash guard reduces the advantages provided by the front crumple zone of a vehicle.

First Published Date: 19 Mar 2022, 11:36 AM IST
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