We know a lot about cars. We’ve inspected them from every angle, pulled them apart and put them back together again (perfectly). But we believe there’s always more to learn about humanity’s most marvellous invention, so we spent a little time finding a few things we didn’t know, and we’d like to share them with you!
1. Making history.
The world’s first car accident happened in France in 1769. The vehicle was steam powered and carried an enormous fuel tank in front of it, which no doubt contributed to its role in smash repairs history.
2. Easily amused.
Initially people were satisfied with the thrill of being propelled along the ground at great speed in a machine powered by modern science and petrochemicals. It wasn’t until 1929 that we got bored with the whole thing and invented car radios to pass the time.
3. Hooray for WA.
At the time of writing this, there are 1205 Likes on the ‘Perth drivers need to learn how to merge’ Facebook page. This does not appear to be an isolated minority. The Office of Road Safety WA has recently posted ‘Street Smarts’ videos online specifically to show WA drivers how to merge and how to navigate a roundabout properly.
4. Think of the insurance.
The Most expensive Car ever sold is the 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe, with a price tag of $87,000,000.
5. Step away from the vehicle.
South African BMWs can be equipped with flamethrowers to discourage car-jackings, presumably because it worked for James Bond. The ‘Blaster’ aims jets of flame at an attacker’s face from beneath the doors, and while prohibitively expensive, is perfectly legal under the country’s self-defence laws.
6. Sweet music.
90% of drivers sing in the car. The other 10% are busy operating the flamethrower.
7. In a jam?
In China (which consistently produces to the world’s longest traffic jams) you can pay someone to get you out of traffic. For about $75 you can hire a driver to withstand the tedium of guiding your car through the jam, while their sidekick takes you to wherever you’d rather be on a motorbike.
8. The finest.
The world’s largest speeding fine was issued to a man in Sweden, clocked at 180mph. This was a serious infringement, and Swedish motorists are fined according to their income. He paid $1,000,000.
9. Faster than a speeding airbag.
An airbag takes less than 40 milliseconds to inflate after an accident. It will also pack a punch. While there’s no denying their effectiveness in saving lives, and newer models are much kinder, airbags deploy with enough force to break the bones in your arms or face if you’re too close. But it’s still softer than the windshield, and wearing a seatbelt will keep you at a safe distance in most cases.
10. Production line.
Every day, an average of 165,000 cars are produced globally. That’s slightly less than half the number of babies born every day.