My wife was just rear-ended by some woman who was "tired" (her claim—in fact she was more probably texting) and not paying attention. This did a lot of damage to the rear end of our Honda Pilot. This is the third accident my wife has been in in a year where someone else was not paying attention, and I want to take some preventative action. Grill guards (and rear bumper guards—I'm using the term generically since a search for "grill guards" will bring up both) give the appearance of being strong and solid pieces of metal that add extra protection for the body of your car, but I'm wondering if that appearance is deceiving.
One reason for my skepticism is from the blurb here, which says
Honda Pilot 2004, 2.5" Ultimate Bull Bar by Westin®, with Removable Stainless Steel Skid Plate. The secret of living a peaceful life in the asphalt jungle is to add a scary edge to your looks. The Ultimate Bull Bar is perfect for the purpose....
The fact that they focus exclusively on the appearance and do not even address the issue of structural protection leads me to believe perhaps they know it's all a facade, and are carefully avoiding making any claims they know could come back to haunt them, so they sell it as a way of massaging their customers' egos rather than actually protecting anything or anyone.
How much protection do these actually offer? Can they in some situations eliminate body or structural damage to your car, and in others reduce it?