His wife's 2001 accident pushed Jeff Mohr to develop the SUPERBUMPER, a shock absorber for rear-end collisions that fits SUVs, pickups and recreational vehicles.
Soup it up
Bumper booster protects rears
The energy-absorbing unit plugs into hitch for added crash safety when no trailer is attached.
Larry Edsall / Special to The Detroit News
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. Seventy-five 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 to actually pull trailers only 1 percent of the time. SUPERBUMPER is designed to provide protection "the 99 percent of the time you're not pulling a trailer," Mohr says. "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 Web site 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 another while you're reversing into a parallel parking place.
SUPERBUMPER is available in sizes for compact and larger pickups, sport utility vehicles, and for recreational vehicles, and can be used in conjunction with things such as hitch-mounted bike racks.
SUPERBUMPER is available only through the www.superbumper.com. 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. See the Web site or call (952) 882-8800 for more information.
Larry Edsall is a Phoenix-based freelance writer. You can reach him at email@example.com.