In Depth

Speed bump damage costing one in five drivers: can you claim compensation?

Average repair bill comes in at £141

More than a fifth of drivers in Britain have had to pay out to repair damage to their car caused by driving over a speed bump, a new study has found. 

The poll of 2,000 drivers revealed that almost half of the car damage was tyre related, while suspension problems accounted for 33% of repairs. The average repair bill was £141. 

A total of 22% of the respondents claimed to have suffered car damage after driving over one or more of the UK’s 29,000 speed bumps, reports Auto Express

The research, by comparison site Confused.com, also found that 41% of motorists believe speed bumps cause “too much” damage to cars, the motoring magazine adds. And 27% believe they are “ineffective” as a speed-limiting measure. 

Indeed, one in eight motorists admit to not slowing down for the bumps, and 21% avoid roads that have them, The Sun says.

Confused.com motoring editor Amanda Stretton suggests that improving the visibility of speed bumps might help prevent motorists from driving over them too quickly.

“Perhaps markings on speed humps could be made clearer to avoid any bumpy surprises,” she says.

Can you claim compensation?

Yes, but it isn’t easy. Claiming compensation can be a tricky process as speed bumps are a deliberate measure used by councils to slow vehicles, rather than a “road defect”. 

 “Unlike potholes, which are defects in the road, speed humps have been installed for safety,” says Stretton. “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.”

However, a council can be held liable if a speed bump doesn’t meet certain specifications, according to the i news site. Local authorities paid out around £35,000 in compensation for speed bump damage between 2015 and 2017. 

Under national guidelines, the bumps should be no more than 100mm high. If your car is damaged by one exceeding that height, you will have a better car for claiming cash for repairs. 

“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,” Stretton advises.

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