The history of the automobile dates back to the 15th century when, according to the U.S. Library of Congress, artist Leonardo da Vinci began creating designs for transport vehicles. Since then, the story of cars has been filled with many milestones. Here are five fun facts and figures — from the first reported car accident to strange traffic laws — that are a part of the history of cars.
1. The first reported car accident in the U.S. took place in Ohio
In Ohio City, Ohio in 1891, the first accident ever reported in the U.S. involved one car, two passengers, a tree, and a hitching post. Ohio was also the first place that anyone was ever issued a paper speeding ticket. They were barely going over 12 miles per hour.
2. The first ever car race had an average speed of 12 miles per hour.
In 1894, the first ever car race, called “the Competition for Horseless Carriages”, took racers on a 79-mile course from Paris to Rouen, France. Twenty-one participants began the race, but only 17 finished.
3. If you assembled a car at 82 pieces per day, it would take a year to complete.
According to Toyota, if you assembled a vehicle piece by piece, 82 pieces per day, and would take a full year before it was finished, based on the fact that the average vehicle has around 30,000 different parts!
4. The U.S. has reached the billion-vehicle club.
The number of registered cars, buses, and light/medium/heavy duty trucks surpassed one billion in 2010. The five countries with the most registered vehicles is, in order: Finland, Andorra, Italy, the U.S., and Malaysia.
5. In some states, you can face legal action for selling a car on Sunday, or swearing in your vehicle.
You may face hefty fines or even jail time if you attempt to sell or purchase a vehicle on a Sunday in New Jersey. In Maryland, you can even be charged with a misdemeanor for the use of inappropriate language on a highway, street, or sidewalk within earshot of other people. And in Kansas, drivers are prohibited from screeching their tires!