Friday fast Facts 5/17/2019

love cars and the stories behind them? join us on the drive to automotive enlightenment in this week’s edition of Friday fast Facts!

Fewer Than One in
Five Americans Can Drive Stick

Find cars like this 1984 BMW 533 in Copart’s manual transmission inventory!

You may have seen Volkswagen’s commercial promoting
their newest Jetta with an option for a manual transmission. In the ad, the
driver justifies leaving the car unlocked on a busy city street by saying the
car has a manual transmission. Although it’s not prudent (Volkswagen admits
this in the last frame’s footnote) the numbers support the driver.  According to a 2016
piece by CBS Minnesota, “only 18 percent of U.S. motorists know how to
operate a stick shift.” The supply of cars with manual transmissions is
shrinking according to a 2018 post by Robert
Dufner of the Chicago Tribune: “in 2006, 47 percent of new models in the
U.S. were used with automatics and manuals. now it’s down to 20 percent and
dropping sharply.” No wonder it’s referred to as a Millennial theft deterrent.

When the car Radio
was Introduced, Some states moved to ban It as a safety Precaution

It’s hard to imagine your commute without the aid of
podcasts, Spotify or FM radio. However, motorists in the 1930s were not wild
about the introduction of the car radio. They claimed music could distract
drivers and cause accidents. Some even argued that music could lull a motorist to
sleep, according to automotive historian, Michael Lamm. According to a
2012 post by bill Demain for mental Floss, legislators in Massachusetts
and Missouri proposed bans on car radios in 1930. In a 1934 poll by the Auto
Club of new York, “56 percent deemed the car radio a “dangerous distraction.”
Rest assured, dads who turn down the radio volume while scanning houses for the
correct address number, you’re not alone.

Having no
recollection of your drive to work or school is called “Highway Hypnosis”

Driving to and from the same place five times a week becomes
monotonous. At some point, it may feel like you’re on autopilot. What you’re
experiencing is highway Hypnosis according
to ThoughtCo: “highway hypnosis, or white line fever is a trance-like state
under which a person drives a motor automobile in a normal, safe manner yet has no
recollection of having done so.”  Some
treatment options include listening to music you hate, drinking coffee and
driving a manual.

Henry Ford captured
Thomas Edison’s last breath

Thomas Edison and Henry Ford were two of the most
influential Americans in the history of the country. Their ideas continue to
impact us today. They were titans of industry, and they were close friends.
They frequently traveled together and were even nextdoor neighbors in Florida.
Edison, older by a decade, was Ford’s role model and even inspired him to
continue his pursuit of producing the automobile. When Edison’s health started
to decline, he made a decision he wanted to give his friend something to remember him
by. On his deathbed, Edison was surrounded by eight test tubes. According to an
by Edison’s kid Charles: “Immediately after his passing I asked Dr. Hubert
S. Howe, his attending physician, to seal them with paraffin. He did. later I
gave one of them to Mr. Ford.” The test tube is currently on display at The
Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

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