More than a fifth of British drivers have had to pay out for car repairs after hitting a speed bump.
On average drivers have been left £141 out of pocket after damage caused by crossing a speed bump, hump or cushion and councils have had to pay out thousands in compensation.
New research by Confused.com found that 22 per cent of drivers had suffered car damage caused by a speed bump or other speed reduction measure.
The majority (48 per cent) reported damage to tyres but a third (33 per cent) said their car’s suspension had been damaged.
According to a freedom of information request, there are around 29,000 speed bumps on council-maintained roads across Britain. As traffic calming measures, they aren’t classed as defects, making it hard for drivers to claim compensation. However, councils have still paid out more than £35,000 in the last two years to drivers whose cars have been damaged.
Although not classed as a defect, if a speed bump doesn’t meet certain specifications a council can be held liable. Regulations state that speed bumps should not be taller than 100mm as anything in excess of that is likely to cause damage and leaves councils open to claims for damage.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, commented: “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, with 22 per cent of 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.”
Part of the reason for the damage to cars may be down to driver attitudes. Of the motorists questioned by Confused,19 per cent said the didn’t always slow down for them and 29 per cent said they sped up between bumps.
However, 28 per cent also argued that the bumps needed to be more clearly marked to avoid drivers hitting them at too high a speed.