New research suggests that speed bumps are are causing too much damage to cars across Sussex.
The data, obtained by Confused.com, revealed that a third (33%) of motorists across the South-East think speed humps, bumps or cushions cause too much damage to cars.
While speed humps are clearly not very popular among motorists, they are there for a reason. And we urge drivers to approach them carefully and slowly
In fact, one in six (17%) motorists in the region who have driven over a speed hump said it damaged their car.
And some drivers have been compensated for the damage.
In total, £1,163 was paid to drivers in the region between 2015 and 2017 for damage caused by speed humps.
According to the data, obtained by Confused.com from councils in the region, 605 speed humps, bumps or cushions are installed across the South-East as a method of reducing speeding and improve road safety.
One in five (22%) UK drivers who have driven over a speed hump said it damaged their car, costing them £141 to repair, on average.
Most (48%) received a defect on their tyres, while a third (33%) said it broke their suspension.
However, some motorists have been able to claim this money back from councils.
Data obtained through Freedom of Information requests to the UK’s local councils revealed that £35,080 was paid out to drivers between 2015 and 2017 for damage caused by speed humps.
This is despite the fact they are not technically classed as a ‘road defect’, making it difficult for drivers to make a claim.
According to the data, more than 29,000 speed humps, bumps and cushions are installed on roads across the UK with lower speed limits to encourage drivers to slow down, however some drivers are unsure why this is.
Further research by the driver savings site found that one in six (17%) UK drivers are confused about why councils use them over other speed calming measures.
In fact, motorists find permanent and police enforced speed cameras, and chicanes to be more effective, with one in four (27%) saying they think speed humps are ineffective in reducing speeds.
Not only this, but many drivers also find speed humps hard to spot on the road, with more than a quarter (28%) wanting to see road markings and signage made clearer. And this means some motorists may come across an unexpected bump in the road, and haven’t been able to slow down in time, which could potentially cause damage to their car.
And there may be some confusion about when drivers can claim for damage caused by a speed hump.
Confused.com says Highways Regulations state drivers may claim for damage to their vehicle if the road surface is defected. However, as speed humps are placed by the local authority as a speed calming measure, they are not technically classed as a road defect.
But there are limitations on how big a speed hump should be. Confused.com cites the Highways Regulations 1999, that road humps should not exceed 100mm in height.
Anything higher than this is more likely to cause damage to a car, and puts motorists in a position to claim for damage caused.
However, the government recommends they are no higher than 75mm, and the data obtained from local councils suggests that the average maximum height of speed humps installed across the country is 72mm.
According to the research, one in six motorists (17%) believe it to be 75mm, while almost one in five (18%) think it is 100mm.
The advice is that motorists should approach all speed humps, bumps, cushions or tables carefully and reduce their speed to avoid catching their car and causing any costly damage to their car.
Although almost a third (29%) of drivers admit they speed up in between humps, almost one in five (19%) don’t always slow down when driving over them.
Some (12%) even go as far as saying they don’t encourage them to drive slower. And it is this that is most likely to be causing damage to cars.
Almost a quarter (23%) of motorists admit they avoid driving down roads with speed humps.
And there are many reasons why drivers don’t like them.
Almost a third (31%) think they make roads look ugly, while more than one in four (27%) think they cause disruptions to traffic flow, which can make roads quite chaotic. But over one in five (22%) drivers are also against the use of speed humps because they are bad for air pollution.
Recent research has suggested that speed humps damage roadside air quality, due to the constant slowing down and speeding up required by cars, which increases emissions.
And some drivers feel quite strongly about this, with almost one in four (23%) calling for speed humps to be removed in order to improve air quality.
Some (33%) also think that it is unclear exactly what impact speed cushions have on air quality and think that more research needs to be done to clear up any confusion.
However, there are also some drivers who see the benefit of speed humps.
Almost half of UK drivers think they protect pedestrians from speeding cars, while just over two fifths (44%) say they improve road safety.
The majority of drivers also think that more needs to be done to avoid damage to cars, with almost three in five (58%) wanting to see them made lower. But perhaps with clearer markings, motorists would be more cautious when driving over speed humps, which will ultimately avoid any damage.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, says: “Claiming for damage to your car caused by speed humps is confusing for drivers. Unlike potholes, which are defects in the road, speed humps have been installed for safety. However, motorists in the South East seem to think they are doing more damage than good.
“With 22% of UK drivers having experienced damage to their car as a result of speed humps, perhaps markings on speed humps could be made clearer, to avoid any bumpy surprises.
“While speed humps are clearly not very popular among motorists, they are there for a reason. And we urge drivers to approach them carefully and slowly, in order to minimise any damage. Motorists who think they have damaged their car while driving at a reasonable speed should check the height, if and when it is safe to do so, to see if they would be eligible for compensation.
“But forking out hundreds of pounds to fix tyres or suspension is a cost we’re sure drivers could do without, when the cost of motoring is becoming less affordable as it is. Drivers should cut through the clutter of motoring chaos by shopping around and comparing the best deals using a site like Confused.com, or read our go-to guide on how to reduce car insurance costs.”