Mohr better: The Superbumper
Jeff Mohr did some digging after his wife's vehicle was struck from behind in 2001. He was surprised to learn about the huge number of vehicles that are struck from the rear, and that 75 percent of those crashes occur at speeds of 10 miles per hour or less, yet can cause considerable injury to both a vehicle and its occupants.
Mohr figured there must be a better way to absorb the energy of such crashes and he spent five years devising and developing the Superbumper, an energy-absorbing unit that plugs into a typical trailer hitch.
Mohr notes that most people use their hitches for actually pulling trailers only 1 percent of a vehicle's time on the road. Superbumper is designed to provide protection "the 99 percent of the time you're not pulling a trailer," says Mohr. "The concept is to use the strength of the trailer hitch to protect the back of the vehicle."
Mohr Manufacturing Inc. of Burnsville, Minn., offers the Superbumper with either a visible, externally mounted steel spring or an even more effective, though less macho-looking internal rubber spring system. When the vehicle is struck from the rear, the springs absorb much of the impact, and also transfer forces to the strong trailer hitch system rather than to the body of the vehicle.
Mohr's website says Superbumper is the only such system ever to pass the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety's 5-mph "rear into pole"-style crash test without damage to the vehicle or its rear bumper.
He adds that the patented system also lessens damage to another vehicle should you back into contact say, while you're reversing into a parallel parking place.
Superbumper is available in sizes for compact and larger pickups and sport utility vehicles, and for recreational vehicles, and can be used in conjunction with things such as hitch-mounted bike racks.
Superbumper is available so far only through the www.superbumper.com website. Prices range from $190 to $550 depending on Superbumper size. More expensive versions with special flame or hexagon designs, or even with the name of your business, are available.
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