Posted On: Friday - April 2nd 2021 4:27PM MST
In Topics:   Cars  Curmudgeonry  Artificial Stupidity  Peak Stupidity Roadshow
Post like this come to me all the time, due to my being a Curmudgeon. In this case I was flying full speed over a couple of speed bumps. By flying, I mean 35 mph in a 30 - "damn the speed bumps, full speed ahead!" These were the benign ones, not ones that will hurt your frame if you get up to 10 mph.
There's a bit of neat basic physics and engineering even in something like speed bumps. Between the expected vehicles' suspensions, wheel bases, which vary a lot, of course, and the shape of the bump*, there's quite a bit to matching it with the vehicle speed desired.
Now, don't get me wrong, readers. I understand that many of these are installed in neighborhoods with kids around and a good reason to slow drivers down - I'll get back to this. I don't complain in general about them, because they are the new 4-way stop sign.** For that I am grateful. You can bash your gas tank a bit or scrape your plastic front cap, but that's still cheaper than the ticket and higher insurance prices that can result from smoothly and gas-efficiently rolling through the 4-ways. Those yellow signs are warning signs, not regulatory signs, something I amazingly have always remembered from that old drivers's written test booklet.
We've bitched about before on these pages, in Sport Utility Drivers - GET OFF
I have one vehicle that has a low ground clearance, and no, I swear I AM a White guy. I don't have low profile tires. This car is not ridiculously low, but it has a long plastic front end. There's some more engineering for you again. It's not the high acceleration or bottoming-out in the middle, for this car, but its long wheelbase and long front-end that can scrape.
The vehicle I was driving has no problem like the other, besides stuff in the back making noise as it comes back down from it's zero-g excursion. (More cool calculations for you!)
Speaking of excursions, yeah, this post is really about something else that Peak Stupidity covers, the Artificial Stupidity. Here I am, not slowing down per the idea of these bumps, but, since I spend almost no time staring at a handheld piece of iCrap***, I was looking out the window, scanning, as per old-timey Driver's Ed. I thought how this is a whole lot safer than slowpokes who stare at a screen.
(I'm pretty sure this is posed.)
Back to that stuff from the Highway Dept. written test booklet again. Remember that bit about how far you will go when you look down for 2 seconds? Yeah, well better to look outside at 35 mph than inside at 20 mph. Do THAT math. Therefore, I think there should be higher speed limits for those of us not on the damn phone. If there were a non-Orwellian way to do this, I'd be all for it. Just get off the road, period, you phone freaks!
* Some signs read "hump" now, but to me that is extremely triggering to Quasimodo and other POHs (People Of Hump), not to mention camels.
** Traffic circles have been the big rage for a decade or more. At least you can have fun with those, in light traffic. Speed bumps are sprouting out of the streets like warts on a frogologist (humor me, please). All that asphalt could probably repave the entire Route 66.
*** I've only tried it a few times, and for me at least, it is dangerous, especially at night!