Speed Humps - Safest Way to Keep Your Vehicle’s Speed Down

A lot of hue and cry has been raised about speed humps, and whether they actually serve any practical purpose. However, there are always two sides to a coin. To understand the importance of speed humps and how they are actually beneficial to road safety, let’s first try and understand the difference between speed humps and speed bumps.

rubber speed humps

Difference between speed humps and speed bumps
  • Speed humps are a gradual raised area, which is typically three and a half inches in height. Speed bumps on the other hand are an abrupt raised formation, typically about four to six inches in height.
  • Since speed humps are gradual in their curvature, they hardly cause any discomfort to a driver, provided they are approached at the right speed.
  • Speed bumps on the other hand can be tricky, since vehicles have to slow down to 5 kmph, causing strong deceleration, which can impede emergency response, and lead to back gear problems.
How speed humps are beneficial: Six significant points to remember

speed bumps

Debates have raged over the benefits of speed humps for quite some time. There are people who are comfortable with them, and people who are strongly against them. Let’s look at the positive side of speed humps for now.
  • Important in residential areas
Speed humps work as effective traffic calming devices in residential areas, and near schools and colleges, where there might be heavy pedestrian traffic. Studies have shown that speed humps actually evoke a more responsible behavior in most drivers, leading to fewer accidents.
  • They are essential for Black Spots
Black Spots are road locations where there is a significant risk of accidents. This risk might be due to poor road conditions, hidden road intersections, sharp turns, or other factors. Speed humps act as an effective calming device for such black spots, where high speed can prove fatal in most cases.

speed humps
  • Speed humps can be temporary
Unlike speed bumps that are permanent fixtures, speed humps can be temporary fixtures that can easily be relocated. Thus, if a residential area is finding speed humps uncomfortable, it can always have it relocated to someplace else.
  • They are well-marked, and do not pose a risk
Speed humps are designed according to road safety standards, and are painted according to established regulations. Thus, they can be easily seen in the dark, making them safe at night.
  • Reduced speed reduces fatalities
A popular argument against speed humps is that accidents have little to do with speed and more to do with the magnitude of drivers’ error. While that argument might be pertinent, studies have shown that lower speed actually results in lesser fatalities in accidents. Thus, speed humps can be a useful traffic management tool especially at accident prone areas.

speed bumps
  • Emergency response time is hardly validated
Another argument against the use of speed humps is that they impede response time of emergency vehicles such as ambulances. However, since speed humps are gradual in their design, they do not cause significant reduction in the speed of a vehicle. Thus, emergency response time is hardly evaluated due to speed humps.

They need to be well-designed though
For speed humps to provide the aforementioned benefits, it is important that they are well-designed. Ideally, speed humps should reduce the speed of a vehicle to no less than 20-25 kmph. If they are lesser than that, and they can cause significant driver a lot of discomfort. Thus, the curvature of the humps has everything to do with it.
If you are looking to install speed humps in your residential colony, or shopping centre, then please click here & to find ones that are designed according to road safety standards. 
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