Where Have Your Highway Taxes Gone? 

and Why Are the Roads so Crowded? 
What I found was a simple
problem in math: one event multiplies another: if two people buy 3 apples,
someone has sold 2 x 3 = 6 apples. In my lifetime, the population of the US has almost doubled. Now if we multiply that by the fact that each of us on average is driving almost 3 times as much, we get the increase in total miles driven displayed by the Light Blue line in the Highway Use graph. OK, you are not surprised. But what about the Red line? If we consider another concept learned in high school, Newton's Laws of Motion, we discover a hint at why what seems like extra highway dollars are getting ground away to nothing. In the table below, compare a 1949Ford with a 2000 Ford Exhibition. Notice the difference in weight. The popular newer Ford is 1.28 times heavier. Since Newton's second law states that force is directly proportional to mass, then the newer vehicle has to be causing 1.28 times as much force on the road. But that is still not the entire story. Study the table some more. 

Vehicle Comparisons and the Energy and Forces they Imply 


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