For whatever reason it may be, meeting an accident is perhaps the worst thing that could happen to anyone most especially to those riding a vehicle. Vehicular accidents are considered to be inevitable instances that car owners will encounter or sooner or later otherwise have already encountered even though careful and cautious driving is already exercised. You can deem yourself fortunate enough if you can escape or cheat death for that matter. As the old clich goes that an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure, automotive bumpers are steadily improved over the years.
Bumpers like the Plymouth bumper are heavy sheet steel mounted at the front and rear part of a car particularly at the chassis with special impact absorbers that are loaded with springs. They are bent and formed into specific shapes for the purpose of absorbing and delivering momentum during a collision, thus lessening the impact and damage to the car and its occupants. Bumpers can also divert the entire car's momentum to the object with which it has collided. The story would be different during low speed collisions because the bumpers would just normally compress and then extend back to its original position after.
Initially, bumpers were purely made of heavy steel but as the years have passed, construction of bumpers also made of rubber, plastic, or painted light metal making them more susceptible to damage from even slightest contact. Bumpers also vary in shapes to suit and match the cars for which they will be attached with and for better absorption of impact during collisions. Quality bumpers are designed to give optimum minimization of damage first and foremost to the occupants of the vehicle and secondly to the vehicle itself.
Laws in some countries like the US require cars to pass special crash tests at various speeds to determine the capacity of the bumpers to withstand impact and measure the damage it can bring about both to the occupants and the vehicle. These crash tests also protect the consumer and are important for keeping insurance costs of automobiles to a minimum. Some bumpers are constructed with built-in bumpers "crumple zones" that are designed to take in impact and flex on it. As metal flexes, the bending of metal action transforms the kinetic energy of the car into heat.