The Runaway Truck Ramp Theory

They make you safe. That is what we are led to believe. What are they? If you have never seen one, they are an unpaved lane that runs along the right side of the road in mountainous/hilly areas. As we recently drove US 40 through eastern Tennessee, numerous of these ramps appeared after we crested the top of the various mountains along the road.

If I dig back into the archives of my memories, I believe I can recall at least one time when a truck has had to use these innovations. I didn’t see the impact with the many sand bags or barrels of sand or progressively bigger dirt piles. I just saw that a truck had lost access to its brakes (I am assuming) and plowed into the obstacles designed to slow its forward progress.

Possible the truck I witnessed was just a token runaway truck. Its purpose was to reassure all of those motorist who had even once awoken from a nightmare where they and their car were about to get ran over by a truck as it flew down the road toward them in their rearview mirror. Maybe that is a good thing. People need to sometimes see the things that are there to protect them actually protecting them. If they don’t, they are just a theoretical creation to provide engineers an additional inclusion in any roads built in mountainous terrain. The ramps don’t save anybody physically. Emotionally is another matter. And, if this theory is not a theory even once every few years, then a bunch of somebodies will be grateful it is there. Just like child safety caps…

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