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New Insurance Institute Report Calls for Bumper Standards

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- A new report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is calling for federal bumper standards after a study of collisions between passenger cars and SUVs showed extensive damage in low speed collisions.

The institute tested seven pairs of vehicles in rear end collisions at just 10 miles an hour.  Each crash consisted of a car and an SUV from the same manufacturer.

The testers found that because the bumpers of SUVs don't line up with those of cars, collateral damage follows when they get into a crash.

"Bumpers are designed to bump," says the institute's Joe Nolan.  "They're supposed to be the first line of defense in low speed collisions.  When the bumpers don't line up, then they're hitting other parts of the car that aren't designed to be impacted, like hoods and trunks."

In one test, a Nissan Rogue -- an SUV -- was pushed into a Nissan Sentra sedan at 10 miles an hour.

"Instead of hitting the Sentra's bumper, it hits the Sentra's trunk and tail lamps.  And in turn, the Sentra bumper hits the Rogue's air condition condenser and the radiator, spilling all of its fluid," says Nolan.

Nolan adds, "So [with] this 10-mile-per-hour crash we have total over $7,000 in damages and one vehicle that needs to be towed away from the scene."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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