• International Articles

  • Effects of speed humps on vehicle speed and pedestrian crashes in South Korea

  • Jiho Yeo, Jooyoung Lee, Junhan Cho, Dong-Kyu Kim, Kitae JangJournal of Safety Research2020
  • Introduction: Speeding is a crucial risk factor for pedestrian safety because it shortens reaction time while increasing the impact force in collisions. Various types of traffic calming measures to prevent speeding have been devised. A speed hump—a raised bump installed in the pavement—has been widely used for this purpose. Method: To evaluate the effectiveness of speed humps, the speed profiles of vehicles passing speed humps were analyzed along with pedestrian crash records near speed humps. Results: The speed profiles showed that vehicles gradually diminished their speeds starting 30 m ahead of speed humps and, immediately after passing the humps, accelerated to regain their original speeds within a distance of 30 m. This speed reduction effect is substantial on both local and major roads: 18.4% and 24.0% reduction in speeds, respectively. The analysis of pedestrian crash records revealed that, inside the zones of speed reduction effect near speed humps (i.e., ±30 m from speed humps), fewer pedestrian crashes per roadway distance occurred and pedestrian injuries were less severe, compared with events outside the effect zones. This safety improvement was greater on major roads than local roads. Practical Applications: This work finds that the speed reductions that occurred near speed humps were gradual and influential ±30 m from their locations, suggesting that the hump installations should be close enough to the pedestrian crossings. It is noteworthy that, albeit that speed humps are more prevalent on local roads, the benefits of speed reduction effects from speed humps were more pronounced on major roads than on local roads. Therefore, speed humps on major roads can be considered a more effective measure for pedestrian safety.

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