Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Collective road gritting

Safety in numbers
  [vote for,

A small amount of high concentrate saline solution in each car, stored in small tank and distributed through a spray under the car towards the tarmac.

The system would automatically begin to spray the road if temperatures dropped below a certain level, or if your traction control identified a particularly treacherous stretch of road.

The system would work rather like windscreen washer fluid in several ways. The tank would be the same - a plastic container for corrosive material. The distribution system would be powered in the same way as regular windscreen jets.

Many tanks of concentrated saline solution make light work, as the old phrase goes. The main advantage of this system would be the ability for a community to react very quickly to potentially fatal road conditions.

The main difficulty would be ensuring that enough people were civic minded enough to keep their tanks topped up - maybe this could be encouraged by offering people a free oil check or similar when they topped up their saline tanks.

If you're wondering why I'm writing this in the middle of a British summer, you've clearly never experienced a British summer.

Fishrat, Aug 03 2004

De-icing tires http://www.halfbake...ea/De-icing_20tires
A less surgical approach. [phoenix, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

grit dispenser http://www.halfbake..._20Grit_20Dispenser
bumper mounted grit dispenser [csea, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

http://www.uspto.go...uspc291/defs291.htm http://www.uspto.go...uspc291/defs291.htm
Buried in the patent descriptions provided within [veryvermilion]'s link above. [veryvermilion, Oct 05 2004]

Sanding Device for Motor Vehicles http://patft.uspto....91/25&RS=CCL/291/25
Buried in the patent descriptions provided within [veryvermilion]'s link above. [jurist, Oct 05 2004]

True Grit (circa 1913) http://patimg2.uspt...&idkey=0CB56F4631E8
[jurist, Oct 05 2004]

Traction Producing Means http://www.google.c...AAEBAJ&dq=2,221,777
US Patent 2,221,777 [csea, Jan 04 2009]


       a light dusting of snow would go down a treat in my part of the country today.
po, Aug 03 2004

       Nice Idea but I would rather you used the usual Salt/grit as a solid. The solution might get a bit skiddy if the temperature dropped further.
BTW [Fishrat], are you up Northland, 'cos its stinking hot down here!
gnomethang, Aug 03 2004

       Ideally the system should be mounted forward of the rear wheels as the de-icing effect is enhanced by driving on the gritted/salted surface.
oneoffdave, Aug 03 2004

       Great idea. I like the way the treatment is delivered to where it's needed most. The more cars travel on a road, the more it needs treatment and with your scheme the more treatment is available to it. I'm sure you could iron out any issues with exactly what fluid to spray and exactly when to spray it.   

       Big Bun.
dobtabulous, Aug 03 2004

       P2P meets DOT.
krelnik, Aug 03 2004

       Baked in my Dad's 1947 Studebaker. It had two wells just ahead of the rear wheels which contained black grit. The driver could control (by means of a pushbutton on the dashboard) the release of the grit when icy conditions required.   

       The grit came in (US) half-gallon "milk carton" -style containers.
csea, Aug 03 2004

       I tried to find a link, and there are all sorts of links to Studebaker, but no reference to the grit dispensers. I don't think they were custom-built, but I am a bit mystified!   

       having said that, I tried searching for "grit dispenser", and the first hit links right back to the Halfbakery! see [link].   

       I'm sure in front of the rear wheels (on a rear wheel drive car) is a better location than on the rear bumper, where it won't do your car any good!
csea, Aug 03 2004

       Hmmmm, seems pretty redundant with the idea that [csea] linked to. The only difference is grit versus salt.
krelnik, Aug 03 2004

       //BTW [Fishrat], are you up Northland// - not really, I'm in lightning-struck Worcester.
Fishrat, Aug 04 2004

       Having seen all of the cars in an intersection playing slow motion bumper cars more than once I give this the big salty bun, 'cause it tastes better than a bun full of grit.   

       We actually had ice on the road last winter. I was so dissapointed when it got warm enough to melt the ice. I could pull into a parking lot sideways and keep going sideways for what seemed like forever. Boy, was it fun.   

       Back to idea: yeah, ok. I'll give you a [+].
destructionism, Aug 04 2004

       Hey, [jurist], thanks for the link. Seems that a variation on this idea has come about every 10-30 years since 1913!
csea, Aug 04 2004

       Definately could see this working for sand or possibly urea. Both are used so your car doesn't corrode from too much salt. +
sartep, Aug 04 2004

       HEY! how bout tires with grit - studs - sipping or soft rubber and then call them snow tires... oh already baked   

       I pay 46.7 to 56.2 cents per EACH gallon of fuel   

       I would bake a radio controlled temperature sensitive moisture sensitive cattle prod that would give the snow plow guy a shot in the rear to do the job he is supposed to do   

       I do have to give it a fish - - - it provides no solution to the problem of spraying a highly corrosive element on my car and everyone else's
shad, Aug 04 2004

       //I do have to give it a fish - - - it provides no solution to the problem of spraying a highly corrosive element on my car and everyone else's// Well, the current solution (salt grit) has the same effect.   

       Carwash companies must make a fortune a couple of days after the gritters have been out.
Fishrat, Aug 05 2004

       (-) Busy roads will get over-gritted; Non-busy roads will be under-gritted, and dangerous.
hippo, Aug 05 2004

       Gives everyone an incentive to wait for the other guys to get out there first. So fewer people get out and the road condition is worse than need be.
bpilot, Aug 08 2004

       Zanzibar, that is what I pay to the government per each gallon of fuel for direct taxes. that does not include the taxes I already had to pay to get the money in the first place ( income taxes )
shad, Aug 08 2004

       //(-) Busy roads will get over-gritted; Non-busy roads will be under-gritted, and dangerous.// Isn't that the situation with gritting lorries? The theory is, grit the roads which need it most. With this idea the same principle exists, but is applied more accurately.
Fishrat, Aug 09 2004

       I recently found the patent from Nov 1940 that must have been the basis for the '47 Studebaker gritting accessory [link].
csea, Jan 04 2009


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