What happens if you drive fast over a speed bump?

Although we can feel uncomfortable driving over speed bumps, they are actually beneficial. Road bumps are specifically designed to slow car drivers or motorists down to protect pedestrians from aggressive behaviour.

They’re made to slow down vehicles in certain areas like neighbourhoods, parking lots, pedestrian crossings, or slow zones. It limits vehicles’ acceleration, as indicated by the speed-limit sign on the sidewalk.

Sometimes, we notice some drivers go beyond the speed signs and don’t obey road signs and rules, resulting in increasing fatalities. Thirteen thousand lives are lost each year in accidents related to speeding. Then, how can we solve this national problem?

Whenever cars are nearby, there are always traffic safety risks always lingering on the corner. Despite having a license, most aggressive drivers intend to speed beyond the limit near vital areas like schools, playgrounds, and residential areas, being a safety risk for pedestrians.

Speed reduction is one way to go to make everything safe and livable. Though bumps may give you discomfort, they serve the greater good by reducing the likelihood of an accident.

Do you want to know more about this topic? We also have an article talking about speed bump standards and regulations.

Black and white speed bumps made of asphalt on a road to calm traffic

Even when the speed zones are already set up for calming techniques to encourage safe driving, signs and traffic rules are often ignored. Thus, these areas need visual speed control, like putting cones, bumps, and humps.

Speed bumps and humps are the vertical obstacles that give a jolt sensation when drivers speed over them too quickly. They’re commonly utilized for structured traffic calming elements.

They can be made of various materials, including asphalt, plastic, rubber, concrete, and sometimes metal.

Although these traffic calming measures can be related and similar in terms of benefits, they’re not interchangeable problem solvers. They are only fit for different applications.

Speed bumps and speed humps

Being a responsible driver in the roadway, especially around the intersection, should always be considered.

Unfortunately, not everyone adopts this idea, resulting in reckless driving, even in an area like pedestrian crossings. Speed humps and speed bumps in the road may limit the miles per hour.

Two black and yellow speed bumps, and a black speed hump with yellow reflective films.

Speed Bumps

According to various online sources, traffic engineers, and federal laws, the average speed bump height is around two to four inches. We may notice some have higher than standard; they can be different in many locations.

But there’s a rule to follow. The structured height balances pedestrian safety and the driver’s comfort. However, there’s no central body that regulates this aspect specifically.

These instruments that act as speed limits come in different types. According to their heights, there are four types of them: speed bump, speed table, speed hump, and speed cushion. They have varied heights that serve different purposes in various locations.

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      The standard speed bumps are specifically designed to limit the cars’ speed aggressively (5-10 MPH generally). Because of this character, speed bumps are often used in pedestrian and vehicle areas, including parking spaces like driveways and parking lots.

      The average height is three to six inches, but the number heavily depends on local authorities’ decisions.

      A black and yellow speed bump used to reduce vehicles' speed.

      Speed Humps

      Most speed humps are heightened by about three to four inches. These are the preferred options for city streets and routes. You can sometimes see them in school zones, crosswalks, and traffic intersections. Speed humps are different from bumps since they’re wider.

      A black and yellow speed hump on the road to reduce speed.

      What happens if you drive over speed bumps too fast

      The main purpose of speed bumps is to slow the drivers down to make the neighbourhoods safer from aggressive and irresponsible drivers. Despite the discomfort, they work efficiently.

      But, since people have different timings and schedules, we understand that they sometimes hit the speed bump a bit faster than they should.

      Hitting speed bumps too fast may result in damage to your vehicle. Hitting them over isn’t an option, even when no kids are around. It’s even worse when you’re driving without additional protection, like skid plates.

      Drivers who tend to dash over speed bumps may cause severe damage to their vehicles. It doesn’t only happen to drivers; even a cyclist may be exposed to this problem.

      Put this in mind: when you’re going over a speed bump at such a high speed rate, it’s like hitting every part of your vehicle with a hammer.

      Even when your car is made durable, it may ruin your wallet for more costly repairs in the long run. It’s such an unwise move if you prefer doing it repeatedly.

      But, in some scenarios, speed bumps can be poorly designed. Whether you’re driving slowly or not, they may cause some damage to your car. A too-high bump can also hurt the lower parts of a car with low ground clearance.

      A black and yellow speed bump made of vulcanised rubber used for traffic-calming purposes.

      What kind of damage you’ll be dealing with

      See below details:

      Damage to Shock Absorbers

      One of the benefits of going slow over a speed bump is to protect the vehicle’s suspension system. The shock absorbers are made of springs with a system to absorb any excess energy from the impact with a particular surface.

      The system can allow the driver to feel less vibration when driving on rough ground. But, it can’t react quickly enough to speed bumps, even a pothole.

      That’s why you can feel the jolt and rough landing when you’re driving at a fairly fast pace. Since they cannot react to rapid change, you can at least help by slowing your automobiles down.

      Car manufacturers surely have a standard for constructing it. But, even if it’s the best on the market, the shock absorber will begin to leak when you overuse it. The springs may mishap as well, making them ineffective.

      Bad suspension always leads to a worsened ride experience and may result in a lack of driving safety.

      Shock absorber

      Steering System Problems

      Hitting a speed bump too hard may result in steering problems. Shortly after the impact, you may notice the telltale signs, such as harder to turn, noisy steering wheel, and sometimes, it even rotates on its own.

      Steering System

      Exhaust System Damage

      There’s no question that the exhaust system is in danger when you zoom over speed bumps too fast. Being the lowest part of your car, the exhaust system could be destroyed easily when you’re recklessly driving.

      Once it’s broken, you may expect noises to turn up and worsened emissions control that will bother people around you.

      Exhaust System

      Shortened Lifespan of Tires

      Driving slowly over the speed bumps allows the vehicle’s tires to roll just fine without additional problems. Different things may happen when you drive much faster.

      Since your vehicle will take the speed bump harder, the tires might push out as it takes the vehicle’s overall weight that’s coming down to the other side of the speed bump.

      A worker is fixing car wheel problem

      Then, what should I do about it?

      The answer is actually pretty straightforward. All you need to do is to drive more slowly when approaching a speed bump: 3 Mph would be just fine.

      It’s not good to force your vehicle into a different angle, even when it’s already lowered.

      Besides driving slowly, you can also do several things, including raising your vehicle’s ground clearance (by using DIY suspension kits), adding a protection pad for your car’s lower parts and upgrading the suspension system.

      Sure, these things can be pricey at first, but nothing is worth more than your own safety.

      A red car approached the radar speed sign, which displayed "18" and "slow down".


      In conclusion, speed bumps are definitely beneficial for the drivers’ safety while also providing pedestrian safety from the worst scenarios. When passed properly, they are pretty harmless and will provide no damage to your vehicle.

      How can you avoid all the tragedies that could happen to your car? The answer is actually short and simple. Just go slow. In a pedestrian zone or when you’re about to travel over a speed bump, simply be a wise driver by adjusting your speed to around 3 MPH.

      The speed allows the shocks and springs to compress gently so they can absorb much smoother. By doing so, you can protect your car from losing parts, annoying squeaks, and troubling vibrations while keeping yourself safe at the same time.



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