Facts About Cars for Kidsby Contributor
Do your kids love to play with Hot Wheels toys or auto-racing video games? If the answer is yes, they may be interested in learning more about cars. And why not? Cars are everywhere. In 2006, Americans owned about 135 million cars. Here is some kid-friendly information you can share with your young auto enthusiasts.
Before 1800, there were very few ways to travel. People, for the most part, relied on horse-drawn carriages.
The First Car
Many people helped to invent the car. Some say French inventor Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot built the world's first automobile. In 1769, he invented a steam tractor. It was a self-propelled vehicle that could travel only 2.5 miles per hour.
There are several types of cars on the roads today. Most cars are gas-powered vehicles. Some are hybrid cars that run on gas and electricity. There are also a few car models that run only on electricity.
By 1950, Americans owned 50 million cars. To help control the increasing traffic, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. It established the Interstate Highway System.
Today, there are about 160,000 traffic signals across the United States, and most American drivers spend about 1 hour a day in their cars.