Impact of Hitch Racks in Rear End Collisions?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    jrm
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    Impact of Hitch Racks in Rear End Collisions?

    Is it the rack that absorbs the impact or does the impact travel from the rack to the hitch and frame of the vehicle. Or does it just fold into the back of the vehicle?

    Did a image quere using "bike hitch rack and rear end collision" and got this WTF?

    <img src=https://bicycleroofracks.com/images/y/CKcpcVgqUnw/0.jpg>

  2. #2
    ballbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    Is it the rack that absorbs the impact or does the impact travel from the rack to the hitch and frame of the vehicle. Or does it just fold into the back of the vehicle?

    Did a image quere using "bike hitch rack and rear end collision" and got this WTF?

    <img src=https://bicycleroofracks.com/images/y/CKcpcVgqUnw/0.jpg>
    I can't imagine much energy would be transferred to the vehicle through the rack itself. It would probably just mostly fold up and crush (and whatever damage that causes).

    If you have a unibody vehicle, there would probably be damage wherever the hitch receiver bolts on to the body. Rail frame trucks would probably not be damaged through the hitch itself.

    I would guess...

  3. #3
    Kaishingo
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    Back in the nineties, many Volvo 7/9 series wagons were recalled due to issues with hitch racks and rear-collisions. These were models with the rear-facing 3rd row seating (remember those?) What they found was that if the hitch took the impact, the hitch would lever upwards and push the 3rd seat (and it's occupants) into the roof of the wagon. I don't think it ever happened in practice, but they recalled anyways.

    I could imagine this happening in many unibody cars that weren't initially designed with hitch racks in mind (large SUV's, pick-ups etc. tend to attach the racks to the frame).

    To answer your question, if the hitch-rack were installed, and bikes were on it, I would imagine that the rack and bikes would be the first to absorb the impact and the damage would differ based on what type of rack you used (I bet something like the 1-up would crumple pretty quickly - no offense against the 1-up, I'm wishing for one myself). Once the speed of the impact got much above, say 10-15 mph), any rack would transfer that energy to the vehicle (after said rack, and bikes were crunched). Then you would be looking at pricey unibody damage. Luckily, it'll be the responsibility of the goober who hit you

  4. #4
    Big Hittin'
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    in most situations no frame damage will occur. oviously your rack will get crushed/damaged.

    if you notice on most trucks and suv's the hitch reciever (the square hole) is mounted underneath and recessed about an inch or so. in the case of a impact, the bumper rail will take the impact before the hitch bracket will.

    i wouldnt really worry about it
    29er's are Goofy

  5. #5
    Hairshirt Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokfir2
    in most situations no frame damage will occur. oviously your rack will get crushed/damaged.
    Ha! Ha! Probably depends on how fast the sparrow is flying and whether or not it is laden....

    I know from experience if the vehicle that hits you is traveling fast enough it will kill the rack and damage the vehicle.

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