INCREDIBLY NICHE OPINION: Speed bumps are the worst traffic invention

There are many adversaries on the road: raging drivers, the fuzz, potholes. On every drive I take, I face the threat imposed by each of these bad actors. Usually, my phenomenal driving skills protect me from harm.   

But one incredibly devilish antagonist almost kills me every time I encounter it: the speed bump.  

The law uses these despicable yellow asphalt mounds to do their job for them (lazy if you ask me). First of all, how did you know I was speeding? Second of all, what makes you think I’m not going to go five over the second I zoom away from this thing? 

The United States Department of Transportation asserts that speed bumps “can be effective at reducing speeds by nearly 10 mph.” Obviously. If I didn’t slow down to literally 2 mph, my suspension would be toast.  

I drive a sedan, always have and probably always will. The low clearance makes overcoming many obstacles more challenging, but nothing is worse than the feeling of nearly bottoming out every time I go over a speed bump.  

No matter how slow I go, I am 100% certain the underbelly of my innocent Jetta is scuffed and dented every time I encounter this horrible phenomenon. I am constantly worried that my car and its unfortunate lack of clearance will come down just a little too hard one day, and my bank account will never recover from the damage.  

Even at a smooth 5 miles per hour, speed bumps bring out a wretched squeaking from the wheels. If I hit a speed bump even a bit too fast, my car sounds like I just cascaded off the side of a cliff into a canyon. The loud reaction to every speed bump is far too concerning to justify their alleged value.  

On a more personal note, I feel violated every time I bounce and wobble in my seat going over one of these things. Truthfully, I feel like a bowl of Jell-O, which is not an image I want my passengers to associate with me. I do not want other drivers to perceive me as a helpless bobblehead behind the wheel.  

Advanced Auto Care Center in Gainesville, Florida lists numerous potential injuries speed bumps can cause cars if drivers hit them too fast or at the wrong angle. The shop mentions destruction of shock absorbers, broken tail pipes, unnecessary tire wear and power steering fluid leaks as consequences of a bad speed bump interaction.  

Temporary speed reduction cannot be important enough that I need to risk such expensive potential damages. And speed bumps are perfectionists. They need to be driven over with a ballerina-like grace that I do not believe all drivers possess.  

The fire department in Durango, Colorado is advocating for the removal of speed bumps in neighborhoods. The Durango Herald reports that speed bumps greatly delay first responders. Hitting the bumps at even 10 mph is enough to rock passengers.  

I could not imagine the discomfort of going over a speed bump in the back of an ambulance with broken bones or after having a medical crisis. That excessive traffic device would just cause more pain.  

While speed bumps are seen as effective in reducing speed, the City of Englewood, CO says that speed bumps do not prevent speeding once the driver has conquered the speed bump. Additionally, speed bumps pose serious threats to bicyclists and motorcyclists. Installing a traffic device to prevent pedestrian injury while increasing injury among two-wheeled drivers is nonsensical.  

Speed bump installers act like the yellow paint doesn’t wear off. After a certain time, speed bumps no longer demand attention. Instead, they become silent suspension destroying ninjas of the night, well versed in the art of an undercarriage sneak attack.  

These nuisance installations must be removed. I can no longer stand by in a world where the road is doing the job of the police and causing much more harm than good.  

If the cops want to stop me from speeding, just give me a speeding ticket instead. It would cost me less than having my poor car slowly and quietly destroyed by the most heinous villain on the road. 

Photo by Ashe Walker on Unsplash.