What it is: There was a time when crude steel bumpers were the sum total of automotive crash engineering. Found outside or inside of front and rear body fascias, today's lightweight, sophisticated bumpers may be attached to the unibody on metal tubes or struts, and may have shock-absorbing features such as foam lining, deformable brackets, or other energy absorbers.
How it works: By cushioning the force of a minor impact, bumpers can help prevent more costly damage to the vehicle bodywork and structure.
How it benefits the passengers: Bumpers are designed to help reduce vehicle damage in a minor collision. They also function as part of the vehicle's overall crash energy attenuation engineering. By collapsing in moderate to severe collisions, bumpers sacrifice themselves to help protect the vehicle's occupants.