Speed bumps and phone freaks

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 the ROAD .... The gist of it is "Big Pick-up and SUV drivers, you paid big bucks for a vehicle with a foot ground clearance and a heavy-duty suspension - how about don't slow down to 1 mph for a little bump?!"

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!

Saturday - April 3rd 2021 11:13AM MST
PS: Czar, nice rant and I can't argue with "A society this stupid probably only has a few years left."

Bill, I guess you had your mind in the gutter trying to get around one of those speed humps. ;-}

Cloudbuster, that sounds like fun. Real driving! The biggest traffic circle I've ever seen is in Alexandria, Louisiana. I was told that there was some protected somesthing-or-other in that 25(?) acre piece of land in the middle. Now, you've got to wonder what's in there. Perhaps some new indigenous cargo-cult trafffic-circle tribe is living as savages somewhere in there. They think motor vehicles are angry gods, so they live off remains of tossed-out malt-liquor cans and Arby's bags thrown out by some more civilized tribes and occasionally hunt pterodactyl ...

I've seen more and more of the small/medium sized ones in the newly developed areas in the South. They aren't huge, but I could see a guy having fun with them when the cops and traffic aren't around
Saturday - April 3rd 2021 8:11AM MST
PS New Jersey was pretty much the traffic circle capital of the world back in the '70s. They weren't the tiny little "intersection substitutes" that have been going in around me. Many were huge, fast ones, connecting major local highways -- you'd zoom into them, merge, shift lanes, dart for your exit and if you timed it right, you'd never slow down below 55. You did not want to be the guy who earned the wrath of every other driver in the circle by slowing down to a crawl to enter or exit the circle. If you missed your exit just circle around again, bozo!

Poor NJ didn't see the signs of the future mania for them, though and sometime, oh, it must have been the late 80s and 90s, removed many of them. I think they were too terrifying for timid drivers.
Bill H
Saturday - April 3rd 2021 6:49AM MST
PS The ones that read "hump" could also be interpreted to be inviting activity that is better performed in privacy at home, as it is highly inappropriate in a car in the parking lot. But I have a dirty mind.
Historic Eggplant Czar
Friday - April 2nd 2021 10:19PM MST
PS I love passing in the roundabout or multiple people at once.
As part of terminal Peak Stupidity a stoplight or just driving down the road is a major undertaking.
At least everyone has those unique Marxist U. license plates from schools where they don't teach driving.
A society this stupid probably only has a few years left.
Maybe comrade kommissar Xi Obiden (CCP) could speed bump everything in the spirit of trillion plus dollar infrastructure package unity?
Maybe if there is anything left after the graft and fellow traveler payoffs.
Forward! Yes we can, Si se puede!
WHAT SAY YOU? : (PLEASE NOTE: You must type capital PS as the 1st TWO characters in your comment body - for spam avoidance - or the comment will be lost!)