The humble automobile has gone from a luxury afforded only by the rich, upper classes to a commodity that we use every day and which many of us have more than one of. But have we reached the limit to what our roads can take? There are over a billion cars being used around the world today and many people are predicting that unless we work to decrease this figure, problems will soon arise in terms of traffic levels.
Car sharing schemes are popping up in cities all over the planet and we are being urged to get rid of our vehicles in favour of renting as and when we need them. However, the modern day car still remains a keen interest for many and continues to amaze us with its technological developments.
Here are some interesting facts that you didn’t know about the world of cars.
Speeding Fines –
There are an estimated 34 billion speed tickets given out worldwide every year, which works out at roughly 3,800 every hour. Whilst the fastest car to ever receive a speeding fine was travelling at a whopping 212mph, the first ticket to ever be issued was done so in 1902 when most cars could only travel a maximum of 45mph. In Sweden, tickets do not come at a fixed premium and are instead calculated in accordance to the speed you were traveling and the salary that you earn.
Traffic Jams –
Statistics tell us that 60% of all traffic jams and congestion happen between the hours of 7-10 am and 4-7 pm on weekdays; only 10% are caused by road works whilst 40% are a result of a bottle neck of some kind. The average British person is said to spend around 99 days stuck in traffic over their life. The longest ever traffic jam occurred in China and was over one hundred kilometres long. It stopped drivers in their tracks for around 10 days and earned its place in the Guinness book of records. You can now pay the equivalent of £36 for a motorcyclist to drive you through the traffic on China’s busy roads.
The vehicles on our roads come all in many different shapes and sizes, often depending on who makes them. Different manufactures seem to be more popular in different countries, for example the Ford Fiesta has earned the title of the UK best-selling car for the last four years in a row, whilst 80% of vehicles in Albania are Mercedes Benzes and Hong Kong seems to be the spiritual home of the Rolls Royce.
The Tata Nano, India’s version of the Smart car, is the cheapest car available on the market with a price that is equivalent to around £1200. At the other end of the scale, the most expensive car to ever be sold was a 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe which went for a whopping £5.3 million.
Although to us the dashboard is the area of the car that houses the speedometers, the radio and any other mod-cons that may be possible in this day and age, it was originally used to prevent mud from spraying onto the driver in the days of horse-drawn vehicles. Other interior related facts include the addition of a ridiculous piece of design which incorporates a hidden game of Pong into every Saab’s on-board computer, and the fact that over 50 different compounds go into the making of that ‘new car’ smell.
Nobody enjoys the daily struggles that come with having to pay for parking, but it seems that London is the worst city in the world to have to do this. Parking every day in central London could set you back almost £600 a month and that’s without factoring in the price of the congestion charge. Incidentally, the average British car is parked for 90% of the time and the first coin-operated parking meter was introduced in 1935 in Oklahoma City.