Questions tagged [road-vehicles]

Use this tag for question about cars, trucks and other road transport.

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116
votes
4answers
21k views

Does saying “sorry” after an accident count as legal admission of fault?

It is common knowledge that after a car accident (presumably other types too), one shouldn't say they are sorry to the other person. While probably intended as an expression of empathy, the claim is ...
90
votes
2answers
35k views

Are cars in Arizona melting in the 2018 summer heat?

Facebook just posted to my timeline this picture claiming that cars in Arizona are melting in the heat. Is it true?
88
votes
3answers
8k views

Does a car with a hybrid engine and Lithium batteries pollute more than a car with conventional technology?

You hear a lot of claims that, once you include manufacturing and battery replacement, hybrids pollute more than an efficient, more conventional engine. Are there any end-to-end studies measuring any ...
75
votes
4answers
24k views

Does the source code of the software for a high-end car contain on average around 100 million lines of code?

This infographic shows the different number of lines that some software applications (or a general type of them) have on average. The number of lines shown for an average modern high-end car strikes ...
56
votes
3answers
9k views

Is it necessary to change motor oil every 5,000km/3,000 miles?

I've always heard that you should change your oil every 3,000 miles (5,000 km). That little sticker you get on your windshield after an oil change agrees. Growing up, my parents told me the same thing....
52
votes
2answers
10k views

Was the Ford Model T black because of the speed black paint dries?

In this BBC news article labour historian and lecturer Steve Babson says: The reason the Ford Model-T was black, was because it was the only paint that would dry fast enough to keep pace with the ...
50
votes
1answer
12k views

Did a Tesla car collide with a Russian robot?

This story made the rounds in the news: a Tesla car "killed" an autonomous robot in Las Vegas in January 2019. There is some controversy about whether the incident was a real accident or a ...
49
votes
3answers
4k views

Is cycling worse for the environment than driving to work if you need to take a shower?

I had an argument with a work colleague. He claims that me cycling to and from work is less environmentally friendly than driving because I will eat more as a result of expending more energy. I have ...
48
votes
3answers
7k views

Are speedometers designed to read high?

Via word-of-mouth, I have twice heard claims that speedometers are deliberately designed to read high, so manufacturers would not be subject to litigation for speeding. When I first heard this claim, ...
44
votes
2answers
4k views

Is using the A/C in a car less fuel efficient than having the windows down?

This is an age old debate that i have with a coterie of friends; without backing up with much scientific fact. It's all recently been based on arguments of experience. Is it possible that utilizing ...
41
votes
5answers
9k views

Does China control 85% of the supply of rare metals used in lithium batteries?

A selected letter in The Guardian talking about electric vehicles claims: The rare metals in lithium batteries are produced only in inconvenient places. More than 85% of the world’s supply comes ...
41
votes
4answers
5k views

Is driving the speed limit on a highway safer?

I'd have thought this would have been asked already but I didn't see it. Is driving the speed limit safer on a highway? By "highway" I mean high-traffic areas, such as 4-lane divided thoroughfares. ...
36
votes
1answer
78k views

Were there only two cars in Ohio in 1895, and they managed to crash into each other?

Currently on Today I Learned, Reddit. TIL [Today I Learned] In the entire state of Ohio in 1895, there were only two cars on the road, and the drivers of these two cars crashed into each other. ...
35
votes
3answers
3k views

Did car and oil companies actively try to suppress electric cars' development?

According to some (e.g. the documentary film Who Killed the Electric Car?), car and oil companies have actively tried to suppress electric cars' development. Electric cars seem to have technological ...
35
votes
1answer
4k views

Are old car models more reliable than new ones?

I heard that components from older cars (like the ones before '92-93) are more resistant than the ones from new cars. New ones are made from cheap elements, so if you push them to the limit they will ...
32
votes
3answers
20k views

Did older car odometers rewind when driving backwards?

I've always heard that way-back-when, the simplest way to rewind a car's odometer was to drive backwards (at least in some models). Is this true? Did those manufacturers miss such an obvious gaming ...
30
votes
1answer
14k views

Is running the engine for five minutes before driving beneficial for the car?

There is a belief among a lot of people that you should start your car and leave it on for 5 minutes before moving it in the morning. Is this practice good for the car in any significant way, or it is ...
30
votes
1answer
4k views

Do car alarms provide a significant reduction in automobile theft?

Noise That movie got me thinking, because it makes a number of claims about car alarms that jive with my personal feelings about them. They're noisy, obnoxious, tend to go off at night, and are ...
30
votes
1answer
1k views

Is gearing down more energy efficient than braking?

When spotting a red light or similar, I often release the gas pedal, gear down and let the engine decelerate instead of pressing the brake pedal. I was taught that this was more energy efficient for ...
28
votes
1answer
4k views

Did 9/11 lead to many deaths due to car accidents “dwarfing” the attacks themselves?

Well-renowned security expert Bruce Schneier claims that In the months after 9/11, so many people chose to drive instead of fly that the resulting deaths dwarfed the deaths from the terrorist ...
28
votes
1answer
58k views

Will putting a car remote under your chin increase its range?

Image source: Miniseed blog I've heard this before and anecdotally have thought I've experienced it working, but I thought I'd ask here. Many years ago, someone told me that putting a car remote (...
28
votes
2answers
4k views

Does the 'two-second rule' provide a valid minimum gap for safe driving?

Most of us will have been taught the two-second rule when learning to drive. The two-second rule is a rule of thumb by which a driver may maintain a safe following distance at any speed. The rule ...
28
votes
3answers
1k views

Do cars pass with less space for bicyclists who wear helmets?

This question is an off-shoot of from the discussion about helmet safety. There is an assertion that when a car passes a bicycle, it allows less space to those who wear a helmet than those without. ...
26
votes
2answers
6k views

Are recent claims from India of a car fueled by water and calcium carbide legitimate?

Recently, I came across a video and a news report where it has been reported that a man from India has invented a car which uses water as a key fuel component. The car runs on acetylene gas produced ...
25
votes
3answers
8k views

Have more people been killed by automobiles than by all wars combined?

I read this claim somewhere recently, and a google search shows that it's occasionally made around the web, but was perhaps more common in the 1970's (many of the stories I find online are people ...
25
votes
1answer
11k views

Is using cruise-control dangerous in the rain?

A meme from Facebook with 62,000+ shares: Excellent Driving Tip: A 36 year old female had an accident several weeks ago. It was raining, though not excessively when her car suddenly began to ...
24
votes
2answers
14k views

Are passengers inside cars protected from lightning because of the tires?

It's a common statement that passengers of a car are protected from lightening while inside because the car has rubber tires (which are insulators). An alternative theory often put forward is that ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do we not have vehicles that meet or exceed the MPG ratings of vehicles that were available in the 1990s

I'm seeing some conspiracy theories making the rounds which claim that car-manufacturers are intentionally making cars that aren't as fuel efficient as they used to be. They often point to the Geo ...
24
votes
1answer
13k views

Do cars primarily built on a Monday or Friday have lower quality?

In his 1971 book Wheels, Arthur Hailey claims that cars that were primarily assembled on a Monday or Friday would suffer from quality problems due to worker performance/absenteeism issues associated ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

Is premium fuel “better”?

Is there any evidence that premium and/or high-octane fuel (petrol/gas for cars): improves performance; and/or improves engine longevity; and/or improves mileage so that money is saved on fuel, even ...
24
votes
2answers
13k views

Can boiling water break car windows?

A friend of mine in Australia has heard from several of her friends that it's unsafe to pour boiling water on car windows in order to defrost them. Online examples of people claiming it's unsafe ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

Did Jean-Claude Van Damme do a suspended split between two trucks?

This Volvo Trucks ad shows actor and martial artist, Jean-Claude Van Damme, performing a suspended split between two moving trucks, driving in reverse. I tend to think that what we see in the video ...
23
votes
2answers
7k views

Are big cars and SUVs safer than small cars or do they just *feel* safer?

I've long observed that many drivers in the UK choose SUVs (which are often disparagingly called Chelsea Tractors) do so at least partially because they believe such cars to be safer. I doubt this ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

Do automobile manufacturers make parts wear out and break easily, just so they can make more money?

It is sometimes heard that automobile manufacturers design low-quality parts that wear out or break easily, so that they can make money on the repair or replacement of these parts. I believe this to ...
22
votes
1answer
654 views

Do lower speed limits reduce gasoline usage?

There are three parts to this question: Does speed have an effect on miles-per-gallon? Is there a more accurate causal effect than speed that would also cause a connection at varying speeds? (perhaps ...
22
votes
2answers
4k views

Do carpool lanes help reduce traffic congestion more than adding an extra lane would?

Many cities have added carpool lanes to their roads, in hopes of encouraging people to carpool and reduce traffic. The idea is that, not only does the road now have an extra lane, there will also be ...
21
votes
1answer
17k views

Is it illegal in any U.S. jurisdiction to be in neutral at a red light?

In this related question, I asserted that it was illegal to be in neutral gear while stopped at a red light. The first comment to that question challenged me to quote chapter and verse. Astonishingly,...
21
votes
1answer
5k views

Does the US ban high-gas-mileage cars?

A recent YouTube video features a claim that the VW Passat TDI 1.6 and similar cars have been banned by the US government, specifically because their gas mileage is too high. The purported reasoning ...
20
votes
2answers
17k views

Are more people accidentally killed by doctors than accidentally killed by guns and traffic combined?

The actual claim is something like this The top five causes of death in the United States, in order, are tobacco, alcohol, medical malpractice, traffic and firearms. According to JAMA, doctors ...
20
votes
1answer
4k views

Did Lyndon Johnson have an amphibious car?

I came across an info graphic that says that former U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson had an amphibious car and would drive guests into the lake while screaming about the brakes. Is this true?
20
votes
1answer
7k views

Does driving a car in a lorry's slipstream increase fuel economy?

On UK roads, I frequently see cars driving very closely behind larger vehicles, attempting to stay in their slipstream, reduce drag and thus increase fuel efficiency. Given the dangers of driving so ...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

Do elderly drivers cause the most accidents?

Has it been statistically or empirically proven that elderly drivers (65 and over) are responsible for more accidents than any other age group? Some offer figures such as: In 2001 drivers over 70 ...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

Does marijuana impair driving?

Is the use of cannabis/marijuana/THC associated with risks when driving a motor vehicle, similar to impairment from the use of alcohol? The conclusions of public studies seem inconsistent. For ...
19
votes
4answers
7k views

Does flooring the gas pedal reduce mileage?

Many websites that give tips on increasing mileage mention (typically in passing) that you should not accelerate hard. Examples include (from the first two google hits on "increase gas mileage") ...
19
votes
1answer
503 views

Does a start-stop system for a combustion engine pay off?

A start-stop system stops the engine when the car comes to a halt, for example, in front of a traffic light or during a traffic jam. The engine automatically restarts when pressing the clutch or the ...
19
votes
1answer
586 views

Is widespread adoption of the electric car unlikely due to lithium scarcity?

Although lithium is very abundant in sea water, only lithium mineral extraction seems to be economically viable. The world's total reserves in lithium minerals is estimated at 13.5 Mt (not sure ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Shouldn't an electric car be thermodynamically at a disadvantage towards one with a combustion engine?

I have the greatest respect for the work of the Rocky Mountain Institute, but this recent blog post triggered my general scepticism towards electric cars, or more specifically, their fuel efficiency. ...
18
votes
1answer
4k views

Is formaldehyde the source of the “new car smell”?

We bought a new car and the smell reminded me of something I was curious about: I remember reading somewhere that the smell of new car is actually the "smell of death" - that is, the smell of ...
18
votes
2answers
5k views

Did the US ban the Volkswagen XL1 for being too fuel efficient?

There are dozens of articles similar to this one floating around claiming the new Volkswagen XL1, which can get 300+ MPG (0.78 L/100 km) in ideal driving conditions, has been banned in the USA because ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Does Ferrari cheat at track tests?

The article How Ferrari spins by Chris "Monkey" Harris contains claims that Ferrari has dishonest practices with the press. How bad has it been? I honestly don't know where to start. Perhaps the ...