Speed humps and speed bumps are traffic calming devices designed to slow down vehicles and improve safety on roads. Although they serve a similar purpose, there are some key differences between speed humps and speed bumps. Today, we at Andersen Asphalt & Striping would like to take the opportunity to explore these differences and examine the advantages and disadvantages of each.
What is the Purpose of the Speed Hump?
Speed humps are elongated raised sections of pavement that extend across the width of the road. They are typically 12 to 14 feet long and have a gradual slope, allowing vehicles to pass over them at a higher speed than speed bumps. The purpose of speed humps is to encourage drivers to slow down to a moderate speed, usually around 15 to 20 miles per hour. They are often installed on residential streets, parking lots, and school zones.
Upsides & Downsides of Speed Humps
One of the advantages of speed humps is that they provide a gentler ride for vehicles and passengers. The gradual slope allows drivers to navigate them more comfortably without causing significant discomfort or damage to the vehicle. This makes speed humps a better option for roads where emergency vehicles need to maintain higher speeds. Additionally, speed humps are more effective at reducing speed over a longer distance, ensuring that drivers maintain a lower speed for a prolonged period.
What Does a Speed Bump Do?
On the other hand, speed bumps are shorter and have a steeper profile than speed humps. They are typically 3 to 4 inches high and 1 to 3 feet in length. Speed bumps are often used in areas where a lower speed limit is necessary, such as parking lots, intersections, and areas with heavy pedestrian traffic. They are designed to force drivers to slow down significantly, typically to speeds as low as 5 to 10 miles per hour.
Are Speed Bumps Good or Bad?
The main advantage of speed bumps is their ability to effectively slow down traffic. The abrupt and jarring nature of speed bumps forces drivers to reduce their speed dramatically, making them highly effective in areas where safety is a top priority. Speed bumps also tend to be less expensive to install and maintain compared to speed humps, making them a more cost-effective option for many municipalities. However, speed bumps have some disadvantages as well. The abrupt nature of speed bumps can cause discomfort for vehicle occupants and may potentially damage vehicles if driven over at high speeds. Emergency vehicles, such as ambulances and fire trucks, may also be significantly slowed down by speed bumps, potentially affecting response times in critical situations. Additionally, the sudden deceleration caused by speed bumps may lead to an increase in noise and air pollution as vehicles accelerate and decelerate repeatedly.
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In basic terms, both speed humps and speed bumps are effective traffic calming measures, but they differ in their design and impact on vehicles. Speed humps are longer, with a gradual slope, and allow for higher speeds, making them suitable for areas where moderate speed reduction is desired. Speed bumps are shorter and have a steeper profile, forcing drivers to slow down significantly, making them suitable for areas where a lower speed limit is necessary. The choice between speed humps and speed bumps depends on factors such as road design, traffic volume, and the desired speed reduction. Ultimately, the goal is to improve road safety and ensure a comfortable and efficient transportation experience for all road users. Whether you are in need of speed bumps or speed humps in Nevada, Andersen Asphalt & Striping is readily available to assist you!