Testing the pedestrian safety of bull bars: methods and results
Thirteen bull bars and five models of vehicle were tested to measure their performance in pedestrian
impact tests. Three types of test were selected for the assessment: two tests using an impactor
representing the upper leg of an adult pedestrian and a test with an impactor representing the head of a child. The headform impact and one of the upper legform impacts were with the top rail of the bull bar and the second upper legform impact was with the bumper section of the bull bar. Equivalent locations on the vehicles to which the bull bars attach were also tested. The tests were conducted at 30 km/h. The tests showed that the steel bull bars tested presented the highest risk of injury of any configuration tested. Aluminium/alloy bull bars also performed worse than the vehicles tested, but to a lesser extent than the steel bull bars. Overall, the polymer bull bars tested performed best and slightly better than the front of the vehicles tested.