Monday, April 17, 2006

Inspired By 30,000 Pounds Of Bananas ... I Just Hope It Works

Today, I took a closer look at something that was inspired as a matter of safety, but lacks some common sense ... runaway truck ramps. The idea is that if a heavy vehicle loses it's brakes while descending down a steep grade, the Department of Transportation has installed a special ramp on the right shoulder designed to decelerate and stop any runaway vehicles. These ramps typically have an easily accessible inlet, followed by deep loose gravel that slowly inclines and has highway water jugs at the top. The entire length of this safety lane is approximately 300 feet long, and at the end is about 50 - 60 feet off the ground in some cases. I'm very sure that extensive research and testing has been done by the DOT to calculate the speed vs. inertia times the distance traveled divided by the sum of cumulative relative wind speed minus the barometric pressure is equal to the square root of the air pressure in the trucks tires ... bla bla bla, but what if the truck just doesn't stop by the top? I guess it just falls off?


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