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What Are Speed Bumps and Humps?


Speed bumps and humps can be hard to ignore, especially when they are placed near roads and playgrounds. Children have been hit by cars, and the accidents can shake communities for weeks. Unfortunately, accidents are often the fault of careless drivers. Although they are not the only cause of accidents, they are a good way to slow drivers down and help communities feel safer. Read on to find out more about these traffic-calming elements.

Common traffic-calming elements

Speed humps and bumps are vertical obstacles that reduce the speed of moving vehicles. Designed to jolt drivers, these barriers are often made of asphalt or concrete and can vary in height and material. These speed-calming devices are often used in playground zones and on minor roads. Although they have many advantages, they are not suitable for emergency or arterial roads. Humps may cause a vehicle to lose control and may even damage the surrounding area.

The term traffic calming refers to a variety of design features and strategies that are used to reduce the adverse effects of motor vehicle use. These measures can vary in size and scope, from minor changes to full-scale re-designs of entire roadway networks. These measures also improve pedestrian comfort and safety. You can find many useful resources about traffic calming at the DOT's Web site.

Common uses

While speed humps are typically avoided on arterial roads or routes where emergency vehicles pass, they are an important traffic control device for urban areas. Their primary purpose is to slow vehicles by forcing them to slow down to 10 miles per hour. They can be found in many places, from residential streets with a 25-mile speed limit to retail parks and pedestrian zones. Aside from limiting speed, a speed bump can also provide pedestrians with extra safety.

Although speed humps and bumps are often used for traffic calming, they are not always appropriate for public roads. Connecticut municipalities have used speed humps and tables to reduce speed in residential areas. However, these measures can pose a liability issue if they are not installed properly and maintained. In the event that a lawsuit arises, municipalities should consider the warnings and construction methods before installing them.

Modified versions

While it is possible that modified versions of speed bumps and humps can reduce traffic accidents, the effectiveness of this method of reducing collisions depends on how well they are implemented. These calming measures are typically effective on local residential streets and are more appropriate for state or municipal streets with a low speed limit. In Connecticut, several municipalities have implemented speed humps and tables to address speeding problems. Municipalities also need to consider construction, warnings, and maintenance of traffic calming measures to avoid liability issues.

A recent study found that installation of speed humps reduced PMVC incidence rates by 22 percent and incident rates by 26 percent compared to local roads without humps. The protective effect was seen across age groups, with a particular benefit in children. These humps prevented 44 % of collisions and PMVC over a 12-year period. Even after taking into account the built environment, this effect was still significant.

Noise pollution

A study conducted in the city of Volos, Greece found that the noise from passing cars was higher than that from normal traffic at a distance of 20 meters. After 80 meters, the noise level was similar to the previous level. While the results of this study suggest that speed bumps and humps do not significantly increase noise levels, it is still important to consider the noise pollution impact of the structures before installing them.

Moreover, the heavy metals in the soil surrounding speed humps pose an environmental threat to animals. To combat this problem, traffic calming devices are being installed. The British Transport and Road Research Laboratory's investigation into the noise pollution caused by speed humps and bumps in 1973 found that they caused more noise than intersections. Although speed humps are not allowed to be installed on public roads, they do help in the control of noise pollution.

Damage to vehicles

While speed bumps and humps slow vehicles down, they can still damage them. Most of the damage done to vehicles comes from overspeeding. In order to prevent vehicle damage, drivers should slow down or crawl over speed bumps. Vehicles with low ground clearance should approach bumps on an angle to avoid causing damage to their suspension or tires. A high-performance suspension can handle bumps better than others.

It's true that speed bumps and humps are meant to slow drivers down, but they can also cause major damage to vehicles. Drivers should always slow down when they see a speed bump, because hitting one at high speed is like hitting a pothole with a hammer. Because cars are designed to endure some road abuse, frequent hard hits wear down parts faster and loosen them. However, if you can slow down before hitting a bump, you can avoid major damage to your car.

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