We drive our cars and trucks every day, and in most cases we think we know all there is to know about them, but in most cases we are only aware of very little. Sure, we know about changing our oil and how to jump a car whose battery has died. We might even know a little bit about the history of the car company we’ve chosen to buy from. But ultimately, what do you know about cars in general or where they come from, or even how they’ve developed over the years? While fairly useless in the modern world, the following strange facts might just be good conversation fodder for those of you who enjoy useless trivia, or simply knowing something about the history of one of the most monumental inventions of all human time.
Ever imagine what it might be like to drive your vehicle like you do a fighter jet? Or perhaps the vehicle on the latest video game that you play? If you’ve never thought of this, then maybe you wouldn’t like to have lived back when the first cars hit the streets. Back then, cars didn’t have steering wheels at all. Instead, they had a pair of levers that was used to steer it, and they only came in one color too; black.
2. The Radio
What would long road trips be like these days if we couldn’t take our music with us? Certainly it would mean far more backseat fighting between the kids and far less enjoyment out of the long and short drives that we take these days. Can’t imagine it? Well, you wouldn’t have liked to live before 1929, when the first car radio was seen in the cars of the time. I guess back then, conversation took a more prominent place in the car.
3. Speaking of Music…
According to a couple of different recent surveys, a whopping ninety percent of all drivers admit that they sing when they are driving. Are you one of them? And what do you think about the other ten percent? Do you think that there are actually people who don’t sing when they are driving down the road and a really great song comes on that radio, which has been around since 1929?
4. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
According to the nation’s leading environmental agencies, cars are now officially the most recycled of all the consumer products that are on the market today. You might even hear some of the major car manufacturers saying that they are working towards incorporating even more recycled materials into the designs of their vehicles. So now you don’t have to feel totally bad about wanting that SUV. Ford, among other manufacturers, are now including recycled metals and cardboard into the interior and exterior of their newer models.
5. Small Country, Huge Output
Would you believe that most of the world’s passenger vehicles are designed, built, and constructed in one of the smallest countries in the world? That’s right; Japan is responsible for most of the world’s vehicles – both passenger vehicles and non-passenger vehicles – despite the small size of their island country.
6. Where Life Goes
How much time would you guess that you spend waiting at stop lights? If you said something like far too long, you’re probably right. The average adult driver actually spends over two weeks of their life just waiting for traffic lights to go from red to green. Seems like a pretty big time sink, doesn’t it?
7. Lightning Fast!
Ever wonder what might happen to you if you get injured before the airbag in your car inflates? Chances are, that won’t happen. Most airbags deploy and are filled with air only forty milliseconds after impact, which is hardly time for your body to hit anything. And the ones that don’t meet that forty millisecond mark? They inflate even faster!
8. Lots of Cars
Not every country has as many vehicles as the United States. In fact, many countries don’t even come close. If you live in the United States, you might notice that there are a lot of cars, trucks, vans, and crossovers. If you were to calculate that, you would realize that there are actually enough vehicles to offer a one to one ratio of cars and people. That means that there are enough vehicles in the country for each person to have one, even those far too young to drive.
9. Pricey Choices!
Though there are plenty of expensive vehicles out there, the most expensive one ever made cost more than two million dollars in 2010. Because of the prohibitive cost of these cars, only three of them were manufactured, meaning that today, they are probably worth far more.
10. Speeding Fines
It’s not uncommon to know of many people who have gotten a speeding ticket these days, but before the first ticket was issued in 1902, they were unheard of, literally! In that year, the top cruising speed of a car was only 45 miles an hour, which makes you wonder; what was the speed limit on the highways?