Love ’em or Hate ’em — Speed Bumps Serve a Purpose

Learn how speed bumps are installed, and why they are an effective roadway feature.

Speed bumps are definitely not a driver’s favorite feature on a roadway, but there’s no denying they are effective when it comes to increasing roadway safety for both motorists and pedestrians. Speed bumps—also referred to as “sleeping policemen” or as “speed humps” depending on their shape—can be found in roads, drives, parking lots, and more. Their most important function is to slow down motorists wherever the speed bump is located. Statistics prove that speed bumps reduce the average speeds of vehicles, decrease the number and severity of crashes, and reduce pedestrian injury and death. See the statistics of speed bump effectiveness, and how to get a speed bump installed, below.

Speed Bumps and Safety
Speed bumps are raised areas in the road that require motorists to slow down to pass over them. The higher the speed bump, the slower a motorist will need to travel over them. If a motorist doesn’t slow down, the vehicle will bounce uncomfortably and damage can occur to the vehicle if the vehicle is traveling at high speeds. Most motorists slow down in order to avoid damage to their vehicles and the jarring bump of going over a speed bump too fast.

While motorists may not appreciate having to slow down to drive over speed bumps, there’s no denying that speed bumps do their jobs well. One study done by the Portland Bureau of Transportation found that speed bumps decreased the frequency of crashes by 39 percent. Additionally, the study also found that injuries in crashes that did occur were reduced by 46 percent because vehicles were moving at a slower speed when the accidents occurred. Furthermore, a study by the American Journal of Public Health found that speed bumps reduced the injuries or deaths of children being struck by vehicles by 53 to 60 percent. 

Getting a Speed Bump Installed
Whether or not a speed bump should be installed on a roadway is a matter for a city’s or municipality’s government. Generally, there are certain conditions that must be met, such as having a minimum number of vehicles that use the street per day, a low speed limit the vehicles must travel at, and that the street is not a primary route for emergency vehicles.

Those interested in having a speed bump installed in their neighborhoods should contact their city’s or municipality’s government to get the details of the process for their area.

Tucker Paving offers over 25 years of experience in the asphalt and concrete paving industry. We put our expertise to work for residential, commercial, and municipal clients alike. Contact us today by calling (863) 299-2262, or fill out our contact form online, to let our experts handle your next concrete or asphalt paving project!