Like many of our friends in the area, we’re big fans of trivia here at Harbin Automotive. Whether it’s watching Jeopardy or participating in a neighborly pub quiz, we’re always quick to flex our mental muscle. However, there are many automotive facts that were unbeknownst even to us, at least until recently. So, care to enjoy some new car knowledge? Here are ten little-known automotive facts to blow your mind.
Ten Little-Known Automotive Facts
1) You consider your dashboard to be the center of your car’s tech and performance gauges, but this wasn’t always the case. The first dashboard was a piece of wood attached to the front of a horse-drawn carriage to keep mud from splashing up onto the driver.
2) The first speeding ticket was issued all the way back in 1902. At the time, it was rare for a car to be able to exceed 45 mph.
3) The first pedestrian to be killed by a car in America was named Henry Bliss, and was hit by a taxi in New York City on September 13th, 1899. 100 years later, a plaque was placed at the spot of the accident, West 74th St. and Central Park West, to commemorate the event.
4) The world’s first known fatality from a road accident was English scientist Mary Ward, who was thrown from a steam-powered car in 1869.
5) China is known for its terrible traffic jams, and drivers can hire a motorbike to pick them up in traffic, while a substitute driver waits out the traffic jam. The going rate for this service is roughly $50.
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6) In Switzerland, traffic fines are proportional to income. The largest fine ever levied was $1,000,000, given to a wealthy Swedish man clocked going 180 mph.
7) The phrase “It’s a doozy” comes from a reference to the Duesenberg automobile, one of the most luxurious cars of the 1920s.
8) The “new car smell” is actually the smell that results from over fifty volatile organic compounds found in a new car. Thankfully, they are all non-toxic.
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9) Holding a remote car key to your head while pressing “unlock” doubles its range. The human skull amplifies the signal.
10) Due to the prevalence of carjackings in the area, some BMWs in South Africa have been equipped with flamethrowers.
There, don’t you feel enlightened now? We hope that these obscure facts have brought a little lightheartedness into your day, and that you’ll come see us soon at Harbin Automotive!