'roo bar n.
'roo (short for kangaroo) bars are the thick metallic braces which cover the grills of those much maligned SUV's nowadays--they're quickly becoming a popular accessory for these vehicles and serve a rather efficient and brutal purpose if you think about their function. They were purportedly developed for Australian vehicles (of the countryside, I imagine) for the purpose of
protecting a vehicle against roving kangaroo damage.
They've now become popular in the United States, but they've also come under
fire from critics who have noted that pedestrian deaths have increased among
those individuals clipped by SUV's sporting 'roo bars. The reason?
- they minimize the surface area of impact, so that instead of getting hit
by a full grill of the SUV, the force is concentrated in two or three
4" inch thick bars. This may minimize damage to the SUV, but the
focused damage snaps bones like all get out; and
- instead of being flung to the side or over the hood of an SUV, 'roo bars
tend to push the unfortunate pedestrian back and downwards--straight into
the path of the oncoming vehicle. Since most drivers are either too
slow to react to the hit or swerve, they motor right over the prone
I'm not sure if there are any local codes being passed against these things,
but I'm sure a group of citizens somewhere is thinking about it.