One of the first questions that people ask is do speed bumps slow down emergency vehicles? While it’s true that a speed bump can decrease the response time of emergency vehicles, there are other implications of this construction method.

For example, the addition of a speed bump in a traffic lane can increase the response time of other vehicles, including ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars. But there are also negative secondary consequences.

For instance, a driver may rev their engine when he sees a bump. Another concern is the effect on the effectiveness of the emergency services, which could be affected by a constant “bump-bump” noise.

What does a speed bump do?

A speed cushion is designed to reduce the impact of speed humps on emergency vehicles. These are low, expansive barriers that are designed to let emergency vehicles pass over them without being hindered.

These constructions can be installed in urban areas. A recent study in Mobile, Alabama found that emergency vehicles experienced a nearly five-second delay in their response times when they encountered a speed cushion, compared to a four-second delay in their response times when they encounter a speed bump.

Despite the fact that they are more expensive, they do slow down emergency response times. Studies in Austin, Texas, and San Diego have shown that speed cushions have a small effect on the time taken for emergency vehicles to respond to a slowed-down roadway.

In Sacramento, California, studies showed that a speed cushion causes almost no delay for emergency vehicles compared to speed humps.

Further, in Mobile, Alabama, a speed cushion causes a 1.76-second delay compared to a speed hump, which is less than half the time for the same vehicle.

Effectiveness of a speed bump

Several factors play a role in a speed bump’s effectiveness. They make it harder for emergency vehicles to pass over speed bumps.

As a result, they can decrease the property value of a home. Moreover, a speed hump can impact the efficiency of emergency vehicles on the road.

Motorists may move towards the curb in order to avoid impact. This may have adverse effects on pedestrians and parked cars on the street.

In addition, a speed cushion can cause the traffic to divert to a neighborhood that’s not near a speed humps.

Other drivers may not recognize the emergency vehicles, which is why they can slow down.

But speed humps can also affect the efficiency of an ambulance in the case of a fire.

For example, a fire truck may pass a speed bump if it’s approaching a car that is encroaching on a sidewalk. In addition to affecting the safety of emergency vehicles, a speed bump also can lead to a significant noise impact.

What happens in emergency cases?

In some cases, emergency vehicles may not recognize emergency response vehicles. In other cases, the emergency vehicle may not be recognized by other drivers.

In addition, the emergency vehicle may be unaware of the speed bump and thus can cause a disproportionate delay in responding to the fire.

Therefore, speed humps might have a negative impact on the safety of an ambulance. In such a situation, a speed cushion could be the perfect solution.

Other concerns include the speed of ambulances and emergency response vehicles. The size of the emergency vehicle can vary significantly.

Its hoses and ladders are generally bigger than the other vehicles on the road. These trucks are also more likely to encounter an accident and a crash, so the presence of speed humps may negatively impact emergency vehicles.

If installed near ambulances, however, they can significantly increase the safety of the surrounding community.

Final words

While speed bumps can slow emergency vehicles, their presence can also affect ambulance patient care. If an ambulance cannot reach a patient within a minute, it will delay the process, and may cause further complications.

A jarring ambulance can affect emergency response teams. In addition, the resulting chaos can impact the airway, which is essential for saving a life. Further, speed humps can cause serious injuries to paramedics.