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Environmental Health & Safety

Safety Guidelines for Car Bashing Events

Printable file is available with Adobe Acrobat Reader:
PDF Version of Guidelines for Car Bashing


These guidelines are safety measures for the protection of those participating in or observing, “car bashing”.


As with all safety measures these guidelines must be considered minimum, and additional measures adopted as the situation warrants. If the guidelines are not followed, the University may cancel the event.


Before delivery to the campus, the vehicle must be prepared as follows:

  • No glass anywhere in or on the vehicle (this includes all mirrors and light lenses, whether glass or plastic)
  • Engine, battery and fuel tank removed
  • All other liquids removed prior to bringing the vehicle on site, including, but not limited to:
    • Remaining gas in fuel lines
    • Brake fluid
    • Motor oil and transmission fluid
    • Power steering fluid
    • Air conditioner CFCs
    • Heater core liquid
    • Anti-freeze
    • Windshield washer fluid

Site preparation:

  • Delivery and removal of the vehicle must take place on the same day as the event
  • The activity must not take place near a storm or sanitary sewer, on a sidewalk or road way
  • Event located and situated so that non-participating pedestrians or traffic are not affected
  • The wheels chocked or blocked to prevent unwanted or unexpected movement
  • Slip resistant tarpaulin under car to catch residual leaks or car parts
  • 20 ft. safety radius around car with barrier to prevent debris from hitting spectators, or spectator being hit by hammer. A temporary fence works best for this.
  • Only one participant, the basher, at a time within the barrier
  • Activity perimeter adequately staffed for crowd control; these staffers may increase perimeter if flying debris or other reasons require it.
  • Perimeter staffers may move spectators back as they see fit
  • At least one functional 10 lb. multipurpose fire extinguisher available at all times; staffers trained on its use
  • Absorbent material on hand to clean up unanticipated leaks
  • Brooms, shovels, containers to clean up debris
  • The event shall not take place in stormy weather or when the threat of lightning exists.


  • Only a sledgehammer shall be used to strike the vehicle
  • Must be of good quality, including the handle in good condition
  • Be inspected for damage, cracks, splinters, loose head or other defects after each basher and/or use
  • No one may stand on any part of the vehicle. The basher must have both feet on the ground at all times when striking the vehicle

Protective Wear for the basher and others as indicated:

  • Long sleeve shirt and pants shall be worn - no skirts or shorts
  • Long hair must be tied back
  • Full surround, ANSI approved, safety glasses or safety goggles (including perimeter staffers)
  • Heavy duty work gloves (including clean-up crew)
  • Shoes with slip resistant soles (including perimeter staffers and clean-up crew)
  • No sandals, open toed or open heeled shoes (including perimeter staffers and clean-up crew)
  • Hearing protection in the form of muffs


The sponsoring organization is responsible for ensuring all the guidelines in this document are followed and that an on-site monitor with the authority of the sponsoring organization is present at all times. The sponsoring organization will:

  • Notify Public Safety prior to the event
  • Notify the University's Environmental Compliance Unit prior to the event
  • Share these guidelines and any other pertinent safety measures with all participants
  • Provide a consent form that informs participants there are potential hazards associated with the event and they will follow safety procedures
  • Receive signed consent form from participants before their involvement
  • Ensure clean-up is satisfactory and completed the same day
  • Notify Environmental Compliance if any liquid contacts the ground

Date: September 2, 2015
Revision # 2

Contact EH&S at (585) 275-3241 or e-mail EH&S Questions.

This page last updated 9/2/2015. Disclaimer.