Katey Cravens

Katey Cravens

Published: 31 Dec 2023

Source: Bankrate.com

Driving is an essential part of modern life, granting us the freedom to travel and explore the world around us. Yet, despite being such a common activity, there are many fascinating and surprising facts about driving that most people are unaware of. From the invention of the windshield wiper to the invention of the first traffic signal, the evolution of automobiles has been marked by incredible innovations. Additionally, driving habits and behaviors differ across cultures, making for an interesting exploration of the global driving experience. In this article, we will delve into 20 intriguing facts about driving, spanning from historical milestones to quirky driving laws from around the world. So buckle up and get ready to discover the intriguing world of driving!

Table of Contents

The first-ever car accident occurred in 1891.

Back in 1891, the world witnessed the first recorded car accident. It involved two steam-powered automobiles colliding with each other in Ohio, United States.

The average American spends around 17,600 minutes driving each year.

According to statistics, the average American spends roughly 17,600 minutes behind the wheel annually. That’s equivalent to over 293 hours or nearly 12 days!

The world’s first traffic light was installed in 1868.

The modern traffic light system dates back to 1868 when the world’s first traffic light was installed outside the Houses of Parliament in London. However, it was manually operated and didn’t feature the familiar red, yellow, and green signals we know today.

Driving is the most common mode of transportation in the world.

With over 1.4 billion cars on the road globally, driving remains the most popular mode of transportation worldwide. It provides convenience, flexibility, and accessibility for millions of people on a daily basis.

The longest traffic jam in history lasted for 12 days.

In 2010, a massive traffic jam occurred in China that spanned over 62 miles and lasted for a staggering 12 days. The congestion was primarily caused by road construction and an increased volume of vehicles during the National Day holiday.

The world’s fastest speeding ticket was issued in Texas.

In 2003, a driver in Texas received the world’s fastest speeding ticket for going a whopping 242 miles per hour in a 75 mph zone. Needless to say, the fine was significant, and the driver faced severe penalties.

The average driver will spend approximately six months of their life waiting at red lights.

Red lights can feel like an eternity, and over the course of a person’s driving years, they can spend around six months waiting for that light to turn green. That’s a significant chunk of time spent idling!

Drive-through services were invented in the 1930s.

The concept of drive-through services, initially popularized by drive-in theaters, expanded to other businesses in the 1930s. Today, we can grab food, banking services, and even get married without leaving the comfort of our cars.

The first car radio was introduced in 1922.

The first car radio was introduced by Chevrolet in Initially, they were expensive and considered a luxury item, but eventually, car radios became standard features in most automobiles.

It takes an average of 40 hours to obtain a driver’s license.

Obtaining a driver’s license is a process that involves practice, written exams, and driving tests. On average, it takes around 40 hours of study, training, and testing to earn a driver’s license.

The Autobahn in Germany has sections with no speed limits.

The Autobahn, Germany’s famous highway system, features stretches where there are no official speed limits. However, even without speed limits, drivers are expected to exercise caution and adhere to safe driving practices.

The first cross-country road trip occurred in 1903.

In 1903, Horatio Nelson Jackson and Sewall Crocker became the first individuals to complete a cross-country road trip across the United States. It took them 63 days to travel from San Francisco to New York City.

Most car horns beep in the key of F.

Unbeknownst to many, most car horns are tuned to the note F. This specific tone was selected in the past for being the most audible and attention-grabbing sound for drivers and pedestrians.

The world’s first speeding ticket was issued in 1902.

In 1902, a taxi driver in New York City became the first person to receive a speeding ticket. He was caught driving at a swift 12 miles per hour, exceeding the speed limit of 8 miles per hour.

Approximately 1.25 million people die each year in car accidents.

Tragically, car accidents claim the lives of around 1.25 million people globally each year. Road safety initiatives and responsible driving practices play crucial roles in reducing these devastating statistics.

The world’s longest road tunnel is in Norway.

The Lærdal Tunnel in Norway holds the title for the world’s longest road tunnel, stretching over 15 miles. It has been recognized for its advanced safety features and mesmerizing lighting installations along its length.

The first electric traffic light was introduced in 1914.

The first electric traffic signal was installed in Cleveland, Ohio, in It revolutionized traffic control by automating the signals and ensuring a more efficient and organized flow of vehicles.

The Ford Model T was the first affordable automobile.

The Ford Model T, introduced in 1908, marked a milestone in the automotive industry as the first mass-produced vehicle that was affordable for the average person. It brought car ownership within reach for many individuals.

The concept of a driver’s license dates back to ancient Rome.

A version of a driver’s license existed in ancient Rome, where chariot drivers had to carry documentation to demonstrate their ability to operate a chariot safely. This concept of driver certification has evolved throughout history.

The world’s busiest road is Interstate 405 in California.

Interstate 405 in California holds the title for the world’s busiest road, with an average of over 379,000 vehicles traveling on it each day. Traffic congestion is a common sight along this major highway.


Driving is a daily activity that many people engage in. Whether it’s commuting to work, running errands, or going on a road trip, driving has become an integral part of our lives. In this article, we’ve covered a wide range of interesting facts about driving that you may not be aware of. From the world’s longest traffic jam to the first speeding ticket ever issued, driving has certainly had its fair share of memorable moments throughout history.

While it’s important to remember to drive safely and responsibly, it’s also fascinating to learn about the various aspects and statistics surrounding driving. Whether you’re a new driver or have been on the road for years, these facts give us a unique glimpse into the world of driving and its impact on society.

So the next time you’re behind the wheel, take a moment to appreciate the rich history and interesting facts behind the act of driving. It’s a reminder that driving is more than just a means of transportation; it’s an integral part of our culture and a window into the ever-changing world around us.


Q: What is the world’s longest traffic jam?

A: The world’s longest traffic jam occurred in China in 2010 and lasted for a staggering 12 days. It stretched for over 60 miles on the Beijing-Tibet expressway.

Q: When was the first speeding ticket ever issued?

A: The first speeding ticket was issued in 1899 in New York City. The offender was driving at a whopping 12 miles per hour in an 8-mile per hour zone.

Q: Which country has the most registered vehicles?

A: As of 2019, the country with the most registered vehicles is China with over 270 million vehicles.

Q: What is the highest speed ever recorded by a production car?

A: The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport holds the record for the highest speed ever recorded by a production car at 267.857 miles per hour.

Q: How many cars are there in the world?

A: As of 2020, it’s estimated that there are over 1 billion motor vehicles in the world.