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How to Drive Over Speed Bumps

Slowly slowly wins the race…

I’m often asked by pupils “what is the best way to drive over a speed bump?” Here are a few things to consider.driving over speed bumps

The first thing is obviously speed. That’s why they’re called speed bumps. Nobody ever calls them traffic calming measures. This phrase is used to describe all sorts of things that annoy drivers such as chicanes that narrow the lane so only one car can go through at a time. One direction usually has priority and this will be shown by the signs. This can often seem pointless but if people didn’t speed around then these things wouldn’t be here at all.

Take them at a speed below 20mph.This is often the speed limit on roads that have speed bumps anyway. If you take them any quicker than this then you risk damaging your car’s suspension. Make sure you plan ahead and see the signs and bumps well in advance. Some speed bumps are not coloured red but are the same colour as the road surface. The white triangle markings wear off as cars go over them and if it’s wet they can be just about invisible until your car hits them. Especially if you are having driving lessons in the dark. If you’re on a motorbike can be deadly.

When confronted by the square with slanted sides variety of bump that can be straddled by buses then there are a couple of ways to go over them depending on how many people are in the car. If there are two or more then go over them centrally. The tyres will hit the lower slanted bit and you’ll get less of a bump. You’ll also stay in a safe position on the road.

Don’t hurt the driving school car.

If there is just you driving and the passenger seat is empty then check mirrors and move over to the right a bit if the road is clear. The passenger side wheel which has less weight on it will go over the bump and you’ll get less of a jolt. DO NOT swerve in front of oncoming traffic to do this. It’s one of the things which annoys me when I see it being done.

My favourite speed bump is the type that goes all the way across the road. Probably not a favourite of cyclists and motorbike people. You know you can’t avoid it and so everybody slows down properly to go over them. Which is kind of like the whole point. Keep a low even speed on roads with speed bumps. Don’t accelerate and then brake in between each one. You’ll use a lot more fuel and cause wear and tear on the car. It’s not a nice ride for passengers either.

Make sure you have finished braking before you get to the speed bump so the weight isn’t on the front wheel. This will make it a lot smoother. That’s all I have to say on speed bumps.

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