While car safety is mainly dependent on the actions of drivers, a city’s infrastructure can play a part as well. Most of us have taken an unexpected swerve to miss a gaping pothole or a fallen tree. Stop signs and speed bumps are also essential to keep cars at a safe speed in residential areas.
Of course, some drivers will cruise right over a speed bump without reducing their speed. Those drivers will likely get an unpleasant surprise if they attempt that stunt on a specific street in California.
Why do we need speed bumps, anyway?
Speed bumps are designed to be relatively unintrusive humps, usually installed on roads with 10mph to 15 mph speed limits. While they might seem unnecessary, they can help prevent many accidents.
These are often found around suburban areas with a greater population of children at play and pedestrians. One study by the National Library of Medicine found that speed bumps reduced vehicular injuries toward child pedestrians by at least 53%.
In addition to slowing down, it also prompts drivers to be more aware of their surroundings. When you’re safely going the speed limit, you won’t get any tickets from police officers.
Welcome to the “Speed Bump Olympics”
CarScoops tells us about a street with two speed bumps separated by just 10 feet. For comparison, most are separated by a minimum of 300 feet. The second bump surprises most drivers, making for some hilarious footage.
One citizen was inspired to make a YouTube channel dedicated to the twin speed bumps called the Speed Bump Olympics. Speeding vehicles will often jump off the road entirely, hitting the road again with a harsh clunk. Sometimes you can even see sparks fly as the car’s undercarriage scrapes the pavement.
It’s not just a problem for smaller cars either. In April, a video showed a large SUV jumping three times after trying to clear the bumps. Even vehicles that should supposedly have pedestrians in mind, such as police SUVs and commuter buses, were spotted speeding over the bumps.
While the placement of these speed bumps is definitely awkward, some drivers still follow the rules. In a compilation of clips from May 8, we can see a white sedan carefully drive over both bumps without issue. At the same time, a gray sedan speeds over both with a sickening rocking sound.
Fortunately, the channel’s owner says that he has never seen an accident take place on his street. Still, doing this too often won’t just get you a ticket: it can also ruin your car.
You could misalign your wheels, damage bumpers, and prematurely wear down your shocks. It can also scrape up the undertray on older vehicles. If you hit a bump too hard and your exhaust breaks off, you risk deadly carbon monoxide invading your cabin.
How to go over the right way
It helps to be familiar with the area to anticipate the bumps. No matter the speed limit on the street, cars with lowered suspensions shouldn’t drive over the bump faster than 5 MPH. You can drive a little faster with a higher suspension if you adhere to the posted speed limit.
Approach slowly, taking your foot off the brake. After reaching the top, you can accelerate as you descend to level pavement. Repeat as necessary for any subsequent speed bumps.
The slow and straight strategy often works best. Being cautious significantly reduces the chances of damaging your vehicle, or ending up on a viral video compilation.