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Can Running Over a Cone Damage Your Car? (Answered)

can running over a cone damage your car

Lanes and streets are constantly being worked on by cities, which requires them to use orange cones to help direct and block off traffic. These cones are usually bright orange with white reflectors so that they are clearly visible during night and day.

If you were to accidently hit and run over a cone or two, will it damage your car? Running over a cone can damage your vehicle in a number of ways. The severity will depend on how fast you are traveling, and what the base of the cone is made out of.

If you accidently hit and run over a cone, the best course of action is to immediately and safely pull over to the side of the road. Check to make sure the cone is not lodged anywhere in your car, and check for damage.

What Are Traffic Cones Made Of?

Did you know that traffic cones were originally made out of concrete? Today, traffic cones are made out of plastic or rubber. Plastic cones are more prone to cracking and breaking, while rubber cones are more durable and forgiving.

The type of cone that is used on the road is usually determined by the speed zone in which you are in. Depending on the road speed, the height of the cones will change. Roads that have a speed limit of 30mph – 50mph will have cones that are about 18 inches and higher.

If the speed limit of the road is above 50mph, then the cone must have a height of about 30 inches or higher. The taller the cones are, the more damage they can cause.

What Kind of Damage Do Traffic Cones Cause?

The most common type of damage that traffic cones will cause is orange cone marks on your bumper. More severe forms of vehicle damage can be caused on the underside of your vehicle where the cone can rip out fuel lines, air lines, and cause damage to aluminum tanks or pieces.

This is less common on modern day cars as most modern day cars have a lot of plastic shielding on the undercarriage to protect against road hazards like this.

Hitting a heavy rubber or vinyl traffic cone at very high speeds can also cause severe damage to your bumper. There are many instances where traffic cones have almost taken off entire bumpers due to the extreme impact.

If your car has taken serious damage from a traffic cone, then there is always a possibility that the cones could have been modified with concrete in some way.

There are workers in the industry who modify cones in order to help make them more sturdy, but in return will cause more damage to a vehicle if they were to come in contact with it.

Do Traffic Cones Scratch Your Car?

Most traffic cones are made out of a soft rubber or vinyl. This means that they won’t cause much serious damage to most vehicles.

Scratches to your car are more likely to incur with plastic cones as they are more prone to cracking/breaking. A broken plastic cone will have sharp exposed edges which can wreak havoc on car paint.

What Happens When You Run Over a Traffic Cone?

There are a few things that can happen when you run over a traffic cone. In the best scenario, the cones that you hit were made of rubber or soft vinyl and they just fold over and are displaced leaving no damage or minimal marks on the area of impact.

In more serious instances, cones can get thrown into the air from the underside of the vehicle or from the wheel well.

After the cones have been hit, the workers/crew that were working in the area must find and retrieve the cones and place them back in their respective area.

Loose cones in the middle of the street can cause other cars to either run them over as well, or cause them swerve out of the way which can cause an accident.

How to Remove Traffic Cone/Orange Marks From Your Car

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The marks that cones leave on your car are usually from tire rubber, dirt, and other debris that have built up on the cones over time.

The best way to get these marks removed is to first wash your vehicle. It’s best to use a carwash that has a pressure washer to help remove the gunk that the cone has left behind.

If a simple car wash doesn’t do the trick, then the next thing you will have to do is use a simple tar and adhesive remover that is formulated specially for vehicles.

Simply apply the tar remover onto the affected area or areas, wait a minute, and they wipe away the marks.

We recommend using Adam’s Tar. Click here to check the current price and availability of this product on Amazon.

Here’s a quick tutorial showing how to remove cone marks from your vehicle:


Final Thoughts

For the most part, traffic cones will not cause too much damage to your vehicle. If you hit a rubber or vinyl cone you can mostly expect a few marks that are usually just a mixture of rubber, tar, and orange from the cone.

In more serious scenarios, your car will have scratches or even a damaged bumper. Damage to your car’s undercarriage is also common, as well as ripped out fuel or air lines. Your car may also send the cone flying into oncoming traffic which, in a worst case scenario, may lead to an accident.

If you hit a traffic cone, or suspect you may have, it is always best practice to pull over to the side of the road to check for damage of your vehicle. Making sure the cone is not lodged somewhere in your undercarriage or wheel well will prevent further damages from occurring.

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