Tomato bumpers

WHAT weighs a ton or two, is mostly metal, and is more fragile than a tomato? An automobile.

Some autos, anyway: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says a lot of the new ones have bumpers that won't even withstand a 5 m.p.h. crash without damage. That's not terribly fast: just the speed of a person walking briskly.

Some tomatoes are sturdier. Not all tomatoes, you understand. Certainly not the ones in a bushel basket that a little boy we know stood in so he could see out the window.

But scientists have developed a thick-skinned tomato that can survive an impact the equivalent of a 5 m.p.h. crash. Not that you'd ever want to eat one that impenetrable. (Come to think of it, how could you? You'd need a 6 m.p.h. bite.)

Ideally the buyer-beware principle that guides shoppers when they select supermarket tomatoes should help them when they choose new cars. But it's hard to learn much by squeezing a bumper.

A few years ago the government said it would let Americans know whether carmakers were accurate when they claimed their bumpers would (or would not) survive a 5 m.p.h. nudge. But so far it hasn't.

That leaves a car owner with only one infallible way to test his bumper: Crash into a tomato. ----30--{et

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK