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Here’s Why Emergency Vehicles Have Chains Hanging from the Bottom

Image Credit: Wikipedia

No one likes getting stuck in traffic, or finding themselves stuck behind some sort of emergency or service vehicle that’s backing up traffic making unexpected stops. One of the upsides, though, is that it gives you time to ponder the mysteries of life, big and small.

Also, it might make you wonder what those chains are that you see hanging from the bottoms of fire trucks, ambulances, school buses, and the like.

Image Credit: HBR

If it does, we have an answer for you – and we think it’s pretty interesting.

They’re built in chains in the case of inclement weather.

These “automatic tire chains” are sometimes referred to by their brand names, like Onspots or Insta-Chains. They hang there, not really doing a whole lot except waiting for bad weather to appear, but when it does, all the driver has to do is flip a switch to engage them.

Image Credit: YouTube

The chains lower until they hang in front of the rear tires, spinning in front of the wheels. As the tires rotate, the catch the chains. This greatly improves traction on icy or slick roads, preventing accidents and pileups and generally reducing chaos wherever they go.

These types of vehicles usually don’t have time to spare or waste, which makes the automatic nature crucial, and since they can sometimes struggle driving uphill on slick roads, the chains are a snap.

Image Credit: YouTube

So that’s the long answer. Watch this video to find out more!

One big question answered my friends, so you’re going to have to start wondering about something else the next time you’re staring out your window and watching gum stick to the pavement.

The good news is, there’s no shortage of options.