Throughout our lives, we’ll likely have encountered hundreds of speed bumps. Whether you’re the driver yourself or a passenger, you can be sure to find speed bumps in most places you’ll travel.

But how exactly do they work? We know they’re there for a reason but what is it about speed bumps that reduce vehicle speed and save lives? We’ll take a look.

What are speed bumps?

Put simply, speed bumps are a traffic calming measure that force drivers to slow down – usually to around 10mph – in an attempt to reduce aggressive and dangerous driving. 

According to Sunderland City Council, results prove that new schemes (involving speed bumps) will reduce accidents by around 60%, and they are particularly effective in reducing accidents to pedestrians and cyclists.

What is the difference between speed bumps and speed humps?

While the terms are often used interchangeably, speed humps are generally shorter in height and wider than speed bumps. Speed bumps are usually what you’ll find in car parks and other areas where pedestrians and vehicles share busy spaces.

How do speed bumps reduce speed and save lives?

Visual cues

Speed bumps serve as a visual cue to drivers, signalling them to slow down and proceed with caution. Their distinctive shape and bright colouring draws attention and prompts motorists to anticipate a change in road conditions.

Physical discomfort

Let’s face it, most of us can think of better things than the uncomfortable jolt that accompanies driving over a speed bump. This often leads to drivers reducing their speed to minimise discomfort for themselves and their passengers.

Increased reaction times

By lowering vehicle speeds, speed bumps provide drivers with more time to react to unexpected events or hazards on the road. This increased reaction time can help prevent collisions and enable drivers to respond appropriately to pedestrians, cyclists, and/or other vehicles.

Enhanced pedestrian safety

Speed bumps are commonly installed in areas where there is a high volume of pedestrian activity, such as near schools or in commercial areas like industrial warehouses and factory / manufacturing sites. By reducing vehicle speeds, they create a safer environment for pedestrians, as it becomes easier for drivers to notice and yield to people crossing the road at any time.

At Brandsafe, we’re the leading provider of high-visibility impact protection and safety solutions for the industrial workplace. If you’d like to find out more about our speed bumps and how they can help, please feel free to get in touch with our team today.