"Speed Bumps vs. Speed Humps?" is a question we often get asked. While they are similar in many ways and the terms are often used interchangeably, there are important differences of which to be aware when deciding which traffic calming device is most appropriate for your situation.
Both Speed Bumps and Speed Humps are designed to reduce traffic speed in an area by creating a small jolt when a vehicle drives over them. Due to the use of them, drivers subconsciously know to check for pedestrians and children in the area. Humps and bumps are more effective than street signs in calming traffic as signs can easily be missed, disregarded, or covered by trees.
Bumps and humps are often made from similar materials. Asphalt, concrete, rubber, and even plastic humps and bumps are available. Traffic Safety Warehouse specializes in rubber speed bumps and speed humps because they are cost effective, durable, easy to install, and require little maintenance.
Speed bumps (also referred to as speed breakers or road bumps) typically have a height ranging between 3 to 4 inches, or 2-3 inches for "low-profile" options). The distance to drive 'across' the speed bump (width) is usually less than 1 foot. On roads with curbs, a space if often left on either side to allow for drainage. Speed humps have a similar height (between 3 to 4 inches) but a much wider distance to drive 'across', typically about 3 feet.
There differences other than just the terminology. Where the bump or hump is placed, the height, the length as well as the materials they are made of are all factors.
Speed bumps are the more aggressive of the two with regards to the need to slow traffic. They are higher than a speed hump and shorter in width. This combination makes going over a speed bump a jarring experience for both the vehicle and its occupants. Speed bumps will reduce the speed of vehicles to around 5-10 mph. The main use of speed bumps is in parking lots and on private roads to reduce the speed of vehicles. Many cities do not allow speed bumps to be placed on public streets. Check with your city to see if this affects your situation.
Where speed bumps are aggressive in slowing down traffic, speed humps are more forgiving. They are usually not as high as a speed bump and are longer. This makes it a good option to slow street traffic to a safe speed. Speed humps can be driven over at a speed of 15 to 20 mph. Speed humps are perfect to slow down traffic in school zones, as well as residential roads.
Simply put, speed kills. The use of speed bumps or humps reduces speed so that an accident is at a much slower speed and less severe. The installation of these devices will force drivers to slow down in any weather condition.