Everything you need to know about Speed Bumps

What are the different types of speedbumps?

Speed bumps – These are small plastic or rubber bumps that stretch across the whole length of the road. This type of traffic control device is usually found in car parks and areas with a 5mph-15mph speed limit. Due to the height and shorter travel distance, they are quite an aggressive bump which forces drivers to significantly reduce their speed to around 2-5 mph.
Speed humps/round top – Sometimes referred to as “sleeping policemen”. These humps are made up of concrete and are the full width of the road. You will often find this type of hump, in built-up residential areas with a speed limit of around 15-30mph. With a speed hump, you will often find a couple after each other, this is to prevent road users from speeding before and after going over a single hump

Sinusoidal – This type of speed bump is very similar to a round top hump the only difference is the incline towards the hump isn’t as steep. This hump was originally developed so that cyclists can travel over them more comfortably.

Speed cushions – These humps are square and you’ll often see them in 2’s or 3’s across the width of the road. The positioning and size of these bumps, allows larger vehicles to straddle them without slowing down. This also means this speed control measure doesn’t harm emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire engines, who will be able to travel at normal speed over these.

Speed tables/flat top/raised junction – These are a longer and flatter version of a speed bump. When travelling over this type of speed bump, it elevates the whole vehicle at once. This type of traffic calming measure is usually used on crossings. A speed table helps slow traffic down but doesn’t impact the flow of traffic.

H’ road humps/’S’ road humps – As the name suggests one is shaped like an S and one is shaped like an H. They are used to make it easy to manoeuvre for both cars and bigger vehicles like buses or Lorries. 

Do speed bumps work?

Many studies have shown that speed bumps can reduce accidents by around 44%, they deter excessive speeding which then results in fewer accidents.

Certain speed deterrents work better than others and it is seen that speed humps do not slow motor vehicle traffic as much as speed tables, however, they are more effective than speed cushions.

How should you drive over speed bumps?

The first thing to take into consideration is the speed of your approach. Drop your speed down to at least 10mph if not lower before going over a speed bump. Depending on the height of the bump you may want to reduce your speed further.

The best way to go over a speed bump is to take it slow! Try to avoid braking when you are going over the bump. The straighter your vehicle is while going over the speed bump, the better to avoid scraping the underside of your car.

Do speed bumps damage my car?

Similarly to when potholes damage your vehicle, going over a speed bump too fast can cause damage to your vehicle. The main issues caused by speed bumps are suspension and tyre issues .

Cars that sit lower to the ground could also experience damage to the bottom of the car. This could affect the exhaust so ensure you are driving at an appropriate speed over the speed bump.

Constantly driving over speed bumps at high speed can eventually take its toll on your vehicle. It can cause rattles and squeaks, loosening, and even dropping parts.