Okay, I know I can't be the only one who can admit to aimlessly driving over these two black cables that lie across most of our roads in Maine. I see them, start to wonder what they are, then drive right over them and forget about it.

This morning, I finally needed answers. So I took a class on Google University to find out exactly what purpose these wires have.

Before I give you the answer though, I want to know if you've had the same guesses as me over time.

1. Miniature speed bumps? This is more of a mind game concept of a speed bump, insinuating that we see something in the road and automatically slow down for fear it will ruin our tires. This is also just a personal trauma response, because well, you know.

2. Transferring electricity from one side of the road to the other? But if this is the case, could we get electrocuted if we run over it the wrong way?

Here's the real answer.

Those "two black cables " are called "pneumatic road tubes", according to the US Department of Transportation. They're gathering a ton of information you'd never guess. Here's how they describe it:

"Pneumatic road tube sensors send a burst of air pressure along a rubber tube when a vehicle's tires pass over the tube. The pressure pulse closes an air switch, producing an electrical signal that is transmitted to a counter or analysis software. The pneumatic road tube sensor is portable, using lead-acid, gel, or other rechargeable batteries as a power source"

SCIENCE! Isn't it funny how something as simple as these two black cables lying around the road holds so much more responsibility? The more you know.

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