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Sunday, 2 November 2014


Bertha Benz made the first long-distance automobile trip on August 5, 1888, going 106 kilometers (66 mi) from Mannheim to Pforzheim, Germany, in a Benz Patent-Motorwagen returning the next day. She was the wife and business partner of automobile inventor Karl Benz. It has been commemorated as the Bertha Benz Memorial Route since 2008.

The Benz Patent-Motorwagen used by Bertha Benz for her first long distance road trip

The first driver’s licence was issued in 1888 to Karl Benz. The German engineer had received complaints from residents in Mannheim about the noise and smell from his ‘Motorwagen’, so he wrote to the authorities to request written permission to use public highways, which was granted.

Chauffeur Richard Cain, of Bermondsey, London, became the first Briton to be issued with a driving licence on December 28, 1903. The cost was 5 shillings (25p).

Alice Huyler Ramsey and three friends were the first women to complete a transcontinental auto trip. On June 9, 1909, Ramsey began her 3,800-mile journey at Hell's Gate in Manhattan, New York in a green Maxwell 30. She was accompanied by two older sisters-in-law and another female friend, none of whom could drive a car. They took 59 days to travel from New York City to San Francisco arriving on August 7, 1909.

Alice Huyler Ramsey, standing beside her auto

In 1923 Britain a gallon of petrol cost 1s 8d (8p) and driving licences could be bought at post offices for five shillings. (25p). The roads had no markings on them and the speed limit was 20 mph.

The driving test was introduced in Britain for all new drivers with the Road Traffic Act 1934. The test was initially voluntary to avoid a rush of candidates until June 1, 1935 when all people who had started to drive on or after April 1, 1934 needed to have passed the test. Also on June 1, 1935 Britain introduced the compulsory wearing of 'L' plates for learner drivers.

In 1955, a referendum in Sweden voted against changing from driving on the left.

A McKinney, Texas, man set a record by committing 10 traffic offences in 20 minutes in 1966. He drove on the wrong side of the street four times, was involved in four hit-and-run accidents, and caused six other accidents.

As a child, Kirsten Dunst appeared on the US hospital series ER, Between filming takes, George Clooney taught her the basics of learning to drive in a golf buggy on set,

In Saudi Arabia, King Salman issued a decree on September 26, 2017, that women would be allowed to gain driver's licenses in his Kingdom,. This effectively removed a longstanding ban on women driving in the country.

Men are far worse drivers than women. In 2002, men committed 97 per cent of all dangerous driving offences in England and Wales.

A person is 36 more times likely to be killed walking than by driving a car.

The phrase "touch and go", meaning a very narrow escape, is derived from driving where the wheel of one vehicle touches that of another passing without causing harm.

If you sneeze while driving at 60 mph, you may travel 50 feet with your eyes closed, according to a study.

By the time they reach 17, most British children will have been driven 80,000 miles by their parents.

It is required by law in Germany that every driver be trained in first aid and carry a first aid kit in their vehicle.

In San Jose, Costa Rica, you are allowed to drive only six days a week by law. The last letter/number on your license plate corresponds to your banned day (Monday-Friday).

In Russia, it’s a criminal offense to drive around in dirty car.

The state of Ohio gives out different colored license plates for those convicted of DUI.

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