Automobiles, also called motorcars or motorbikes, are the most popular modes of transportation in the world. They are used for travel, commerce, and pleasure.
The automobile was the answer to the 19th-century dream of a self-propelling carriage. Invented in Germany in the 1880s, the internal combustion engine powered the first car. A three-wheeler with a horizontal single-cylinder gasoline engine and steerable front wheels was developed by Edward Butler in 1884.
In the twentieth century, auto manufacturers were forced to conform to more stringent standards. This was done in order to improve emissions and safety.
During the 1970s, oil shortages drove up the price of gasoline. As a result, more and more citizens turned to foreign cars. Ultimately, Japanese autos surpassed U.S. production.
Stricter manufacturing regulations also caused automobile prices to rise. This made American auto companies suffer. Automakers started a public relations campaign to defend their industry. These tactics helped to offset the costs of stricter manufacturing standards.
In addition to regulations, the government passed safety legislation. These included requirements for seat belts that attach across the lap and shoulder of the driver. Seat belts are said to significantly reduce the probability of serious injury.
Although automobiles are very useful in modern society, they are also highly dangerous. Their design, production, and manufacturing processes are regulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
There is a need to improve the safety of automobiles. The best way to do this is to require auto makers to design safer vehicles.