Do Speed Bumps Damage Cars?

by Daniel Biczyk

Speed bumps, also known as "speed humps," "sleeping policeman" or "road hump" is a traffic controlling device intended to slow vehicles on a road or thoroughfare. They are most frequently used on roads that have low speed limits, typically 35 MPH or less.

Design

Speed bumps are usually raised 3 to 4 inches above the grade of the road. Different materials may be used in the construction on bumps, but asphalt, brick and rubber are the most prevalent. Bumps are approximately a foot in length, while humps are 10 to 12 feet in length. Depending on the traffic flow and posted speed limit, the design of speed bumps will vary. A poorly designed speed bump may cause damage to vehicles, regardless of the speed traveled over them.

Damage to Vehicles

The intention of speed bumps is to slow vehicles. If a vehicle travels over a speed bump without slowing, it can be damaged. This damage can result from minor scrapes or scratches to the underside of the car to serious damage, such as frame deformation. If a speed bump is built shoddily, then cars, regardless of the travel speed, can sustain damage. Cars with a low ground clearance, such as sports cars, can seriously damage the undercarriage if the owner does not maneuver over them with great care. Owners of these low vehicles may need to approach the bump on an angle, or avoid the road altogether.

Criticism

Residents of cities all over the world have complained about speed bumps. Critics argue that cars are damaged regardless of speed, and sometimes may lead to serious injury for bicyclists or pedestrians.

Pros

When installed properly, the bumps do slow the flow of traffic in the immediate area. This is beneficial in an area with high pedestrian traffic. The bumps may reduce traffic flow in the area, as some drivers do not want to risk the damage or discomfort caused by the bump.

Cons

If installed improperly, vehicles may be damaged. Some drivers consider the bumps a nuisance rather than a safety measure. The bumps can be dangerous to bicyclists if not properly marked.

About the Author

Daniel Biczyk has been a real estate agent in south Florida since 2005. He hold's a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing and management from Florida Atlantic University. Daniel's articles have appeared on various websites.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Mohammed Al-SULTAN