Based on typical conversations you have with the regular folks in your life, you may get the impression that ‘speed bumps’ and ‘speed humps’ are interchangeable terms. This is actually not the case. The terms speed humps and speed bumps actually refer to different examples of traffic slowing paving methods. To help you learn the basic differences, and why it is important to be aware of them, here is a short comparison of speed bumps and speed humps.

Speed Bumps vs Speed Humps

1. Design

When it comes to their actual design, there are plenty of major differences between speed humps and speed bumps to be aware of. Odds are you’ve driven over plenty of each without even realizing which one is which!

Speed Bump

A speed bump is a bit more common due to the fact that they have been around for a lot longer compared to a speed hump. They are often used in parking lots to encourage cars to remain at slow speeds, especially on straight roadways where pedestrians often cross in front of traffic. The speed bump is more pronounced and designed to give a sudden jolt to cars that are travelling too fast.

Speed Hump

On the other hand, a speed hump features more of a gradual slope designed to encourage slower speeds on actual roads. Because cars will be allowed to travel somewhat faster on roads where speed humps are found, the hump itself is wider. This allows for a more gradual speed reduction that risks less damage to a car, while still encouraging significant speed reduction. For the most part, speed humps are found on residential roads and in school zones with heavy pedestrian traffic.

2. Applications

As we mentioned above, you almost always find speed bumps in parking lots and nowhere else. There are few applications for speed bumps outside of low-speed lots since their slope is quite abrupt. In the past, speed bumps were installed using asphalt alone, but now thanks to new innovations in materials, more convenient speed bumps are available for installation. Rather than having a permanent asphalt speed bump, you can now have a removable solid plastic version installed. These make it extremely convenient in the winter when snowplows need a flat surface to clean snow effectively.

There are a lot more applications for speed humps, including use in parking lots. Lots of residential roads, school zones and even parking garages make use of different types of speed humps. There are retractable speed humps made to be removed during the winter for snowplow clearance. You can also install speed humps made from asphalt or even concrete to match the road surface they are being placed upon. In some cases, speed humps are staggered on each side of the road to allow for larger vehicle clearance. This is especially beneficial in areas where large trucks need to pass without having to gear down.

3. Installation

For the most part, depending on materials, the installation process for speed humps and speed bumps is fairly similar. A speed hump often takes a little more time due to its larger size, and in some cases, a specific material will be required. For instance, to reduce damage to vehicles in a very slow driveway or parking lot, you may want to use a rubber or plastic material for your speed bumps or humps to reduce the change of damage to vehicles. An experienced paving service will be able to offer good insight and advice on which type of material to use for your speed bump or speed hump. Please visit our installing the speed bump service page, or contact us for more installation questions.

To get started on enhancing the safety of your roadway, and ready to pave your driveway or pave your parking lot, contact Pacific Coast Paving today!