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March 01, 1994

Worst Driver

It was reported that within a 20-minute span, a 75-year-old male driver in McKinney, Tex., received 10 traffic tickets, drove on the wrong side of the road four times, committed four hit-and-run offenses and caused six accidents on Oct. 15, 1966.

Worst Exit to Miss

The longest distance between controlled access exits in the United States is 51.1 miles from Florida Turnpike exit 193 (Yeehaw Junction) to exit 244 (Kissimee). The worst exit to miss on an interstate highway is 37.7 miles from I-80 exit 41 (Knolls, Utah) to exit 4 (Bonneville Speedway, Utah).

Fatality rates in selected countries

Per 100 million vehicle miles

1980 1990 Austria 9.0 5.4 Denmark 4.4 2.8 Finland 3.4 2.6 France 6.5 3.9 Germany* 6.4 2.9 Britain 4.1 2.1 Italy 5.7 2.8 Japan 3.6 2.9 Netherlands 4.6 2.5 Norway 3.2 2.0 Spain 11.0 9.2 Sweden 3.1 2.3 Turkey NA 37.7 United States 3.5 2.2

* Figures for West Germany only, prior to unification. Source: American Automobile Manufacturers Assn.


Highest mileage: The highest recorded mileage for a car was 1,442,044 miles through Jan. 25, 1993, on a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle owned by Albert Klein of Pasadena.


Gasoline consumption: A team of students from Lycee St. Joseph La Joliverie, in Nantes, France, achieved 7,591 miles per gallon in the Shell Mileage Marathon at Silverstone, Great Britain, on July 17, 1992.


Bobby Ore of Great Britain drove a double-decker bus a distance of 810 feet on two wheels at North Weald airfield on May 21, 1988.


The first pop-up headlamps were a feature on the innovative Cord Model 810 from the United States in 1936. They had to be wound-up manually however.


The first true motor race, the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris over 732 miles was contested by 22 starters in 1895. Nine finished, led by Emile Levassor in a Panard. He completed the course in 48 hours and 48 minutes.


Leading automaking nations with 1 million or more production (1992)

Includes cars, buses, trucks produced in home country and overseas

1. Japan: 12,499,284

2. United States: 9,703,043

3. Germany: 5,193,942

4. France: 3,758,203

5. Spain: 2,127,174

6. Canada: 1,957,730

7. CIS: 1,745,000

8. Korea: 1,728,696

9. Britain: 1,540,333

10. Italy: 1,686,121

11. Mexico: 1,083,091

Source: Automotive News (1993 Market Data Book)


The first woman to race in a car was Madame Laumaille, driving a de Dion tricycle in the Marseilles-Nice race in 1898. She finished fourth in class, beating her husband.


The first "motor wedding" with cars used to transport the bride and groom took place in August, 1897. The guests were conveyed in a farm wagon hauled by a traction engine.


The world's first traffic lights were installed in Detroit in 1919.


The world's first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City, in July, 1935. It was invented by Prof. H.G. Thuesen and Gerald A. Hale of Oklahoma State University. The following month, the Reverend C.H. North of the Third Pentecostal Church of Oklahoma City became the first person arrested for a parking meter offense.


Longest Car

A 100-foot-long, 26-wheeled limo was designed by Jay Ohrberg of Burbank. It includes a swimming pool, a diving board and a king-size water bed.


Source: Guinness Book of World Records and Guinness Book of the Car.

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