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Tow bars....I don't have one, I don't need one, and actually, I don't like them...

When driving around in Belgium with a fully extracted tow bar, with no trailer, and you're having an accident where someone rear-ends you, the insurance might take off their hands. Why? well, because tow bars usually cause more damage to the car that bumped into your back. And since there was no trailer, or caravan, or whatever, the insurance companies say it was unnecessary to drive around with that tow bar. It should have been retracted (or removed for some models).

What do your country's laws or insurance companies say about this?

BTW: I once had a (small) accident in a parking lot of a shopping center. Two cars (me and someone else) were backing up out of our parking space and we hit each other. The tow bar of the other car got stuck completely into my read bumper. If they didn't have the tow bar out, there would have been no damage, I think...
 

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Never heard about that, but when I visited france I noticed all the Peugeot 205 and Renault Clio had tow bars 馃槀
 

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In Denmark it's normal to drive around with a tow bar which is not in use. This is just a screenshot from a random parking space
Car Land vehicle Wheel Vehicle Tire


5 cars with unused tow bars. Tow bar is also included in the cheapest "charge" package for the i4, so I image that all i4s in Denmark will come with tow bar. I'm also happy to get it, and love that it is fully electric 馃榿

No issues with insurance. Have never heard of it before
 

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I have ordered a tow bar on my i4.
I don鈥檛 have any trailer or nothing, 鈥 maybe I buy it later down the line.
I hope the tow bar will protect the rear end of my car against idiots.
@JST1963 it a company car and the tow bar will be inspected and insured.
 

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Tow bars....I don't have one, I don't need one, and actually, I don't like them...

When driving around in Belgium with a fully extracted tow bar, with no trailer, and you're having an accident where someone rear-ends you, the insurance might take off their hands. Why? well, because tow bars usually cause more damage to the car that bumped into your back. And since there was no trailer, or caravan, or whatever, the insurance companies say it was unnecessary to drive around with that tow bar. It should have been retracted (or removed for some models).

What do your country's laws or insurance companies say about this?

BTW: I once had a (small) accident in a parking lot of a shopping center. Two cars (me and someone else) were backing up out of our parking space and we hit each other. The tow bar of the other car got stuck completely into my read bumper. If they didn't have the tow bar out, there would have been no damage, I think...
Oh, @JST1963, thanks for bringing this up, I now understand why the tow hitch of the i4 is retractable. It's the first time I see a retractable tow hitch like it. So if you ever need to tow, you can rest assure that the i4's is retractable, I saw a video of it.
In the US, we use a different standard altogether, we normally have a receiver that is flush with the bumper or sometimes sticks out, and we either mount a bar with the ball on it or not; plus, on the sides of the receiver, there has to be brackets for us to attach a security chain so that the trailer does not just fall off the car if the hitch ball gets unhitched for any reason. I never heard of insurance companies creating issues with the hitch, including the ball and bracket, because it's part of the car and if it damages another car, that's just part of of the damages of the accident. The concept of "unnecessary" is weird because, well, it was unnecessary for the car to hit each other in the first place, seems like a strange way to push the responsibility around. Actually the hitch on my previous car "saved" my car from expensive repairs several times, because it is much stiffer than the sorry excuse of bumpers that modern cars have on them that seem to bend and break even if you kick them, and it bends in a way that make the rear of your car ride over whoever rear-ended you. Of course, it did not save money to the other car's owner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Minh, but that's just the whole point. Cars with towbars cause more damage to other cars in case of an accident. If I bump into a car without a towbar, the bumpers "usually do their job". They are flexible to withstand small accidents, for instance in a traffic jam, at 5-15 km/h, and prevent in 80% of the cases some damage to any of the cars. But if the car in front of me has a towbar and I bump into it, no matter at what speed, 3, 5, 10, 15 km/h, I'm sure my car will be damaged... That's why insurance companies don't want the towbar fully deployed when it's not used for towing some trailer.

And some people actually use it to protect their car. My brother-in-law (R.I.P.) was one of them. He always said, "let them hit me, my towbar will teach them" :)
 

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Minh, but that's just the whole point. Cars with towbars cause more damage to other cars in case of an accident. If I bump into a car without a towbar, the bumpers "usually do their job". They are flexible to withstand small accidents, for instance in a traffic jam, at 5-15 km/h, and prevent in 80% of the cases some damage to any of the cars. But if the car in front of me has a towbar and I bump into it, no matter at what speed, 3, 5, 10, 15 km/h, I'm sure my car will be damaged... That's why insurance companies don't want the towbar fully deployed when it's not used for towing some trailer.

And some people actually use it to protect their car. My brother-in-law (R.I.P.) was one of them. He always said, "let them hit me, my towbar will teach them" :)
There is no law in Belgium that forbids a fully deployed tow bar, even when there is no trailer.
 

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I believe that ordering the tow bar deletes the ability to use a foot gesture to open the trunk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There is no law in Belgium that forbids a fully deployed tow bar, even when there is no trailer.
That is correct, there's no law about it. But beware in case of an accident. Your insurance company can refuse to pay if they find out if there's a retractable/removable towbar, which was not used when the accident happened. I know what I'm talking about. A colleague at the office had this problem. Luckily we have a good company policy and we only have to pay 鈧125, no matter what.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, the subject of the "Bullbar" is a real grey zone in the Belgian law.
If you go to the technical checkup of your car (APK in Holland) you will not pass the test and your car is no longer allowed on the road unless you remove it. Your bullbar needs a European Certificate before you can mount one onto your car and that is very hard to get. You see, bullbars are meant to prevent damage to your car created by animals. But bullbars usually cause also more damage to pedestrians or bikers in case of an accident. That's why they are not allowed. But I can't find a real indication in the Belgian law that they are truly forbidden. In the Netherlands, they are not allowed either.

Edit: And now that I see that picture of that truck, I want to add that you can't buy (as far as I know) this type of big rig, because of the front. The driver is not able to see if there is someone walking in front of his truck when standing still. Our trucks always have a "flat nose".
 

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Yeah those things I think are brinalowed here anymore. People had them all the time on Toyota and Chevrolet suv when I was younger, they look cool.
 

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Edit: And now that I see that picture of that truck, I want to add that you can't buy (as far as I know) this type of big rig, because of the front. The driver is not able to see if there is someone walking in front of his truck when standing still. Our trucks always have a "flat nose".
I do not agree with this.
The reason for this is very simple. According to European rules, a truck combination may not be longer than 18.75 meters. And if the nose of a truck is shorter, you can use a longer trailer. This way you can transport more with the same truck.
 

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I do not agree with this.
The reason for this is very simple. According to European rules, a truck combination may not be longer than 18.75 meters. And if the nose of a truck is shorter, you can use a longer trailer. This way you can transport more with the same truck.
Yeah 100% this. Can鈥檛 remember how long a trailer can be in the US but it鈥檚 pretty crazy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That is indeed a good and valid reason why we don't have the famous nose on the trucks. But the fact remains that it is a lot more difficult for the driver to see what is in front of him.
I did hear a few years back that they want to re-introduce the longer tractor part of the truck for the safety of the driver because they say they're too close to the front. But on the other hand, have you seen how they drive? With 5-10 meters between them, or even less? No wonder they get injured/killed in case of an accident between different trucks.

Edit: Personally, I love this American-style truck more than the ones we have. They usually have great paint jobs
 

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I鈥檓 sure a couple of cameras or sensors would do the trick. Never understood why big trucks don鈥檛 have all of them, but a little fiat panda has 20 different sensors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Even with cameras and sensors we still have several casualties a year. And I'm not saying it's always the truck driver's fault. On the contrary...
If I see such a big rig, and I'm on foot close to it, I make sure I move a way from that truck.
 
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