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Laws of physics menace 100-mph hill-hoppers

Tuesday, June 18, 2013by  Jon Osterberg

If more teens understood the physics of hill-hopping, fewer would try it.
   That’s a sad lesson gleaned from a high-speed crash last week that killed a 19-year-old driver near Jefferson, Ore.
   Hill-hoppers accelerate their cars until they lift off the pavement at the crest of sharp hills. Doing so requires high speed because they’re literally defying gravity.
   Unless you steer the car perfectly, it likely will swerve when it lands as the shocks and springs compress, then expand, scrambling the car’s center of gravity.
   “The more you try to correct it, the more out of control the vehicle gets,” said a Salem police officer last week after a hill-hopping Honda Civic crashed into a power pole and split in half. The county sheriff’s office said the crash was less about poor driving skills and more about poor judgment.
   Read the Salem Statesman Journal article.


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