Having a car and a driver’s license is one way you can follow the summer and enjoy adventures, whenever you can find the time to do so make sure you practice driver safely. You may not know it, but cars and safe driving practices have come a long way since the first car hit the tracks in 1886 in Germany.

Road Tripping Australia | Photo @josieclough

No License, No Driving
Many of you were no doubt itching to take your driving license test to gain the freedom to come and go as you please. But, if you’d been around in the early 1900s and lucky enough to have a car, you’d only have been required to get a license if you lived in Queensland.
But, with few licensing requirements and cars giving drivers power, speed and the ability to travel more than before, other states began to follow suit.
While France initially led the way with the first ever driver’s license test in 1899, more countries around the world, including Australian states, followed suit. Indeed, the first driving test in the UK was taken in 1934.
The ability to purchase a car was also made easier by the introduction of the Ford Motor Company of Australia in 1925. The first Australian designed, mass-produced car, meanwhile, was by Holden, in 1948. As car production rose and buying them became cheaper, driver testing became essential, as more people took to the roads in their hunks of heavy, powerful and fast metal.

California cruising | Photo @sylvescollessss

Check the rear view mirror | Photo @sylvescollessss

The HT Holden ute | Photo Justin Crawford @thecrawfordcosmos

The Modern Driver Safety Rules
Over the years, employment rose, wages grew and cars became more affordable. This allowed more and more drivers to take to the road on their journey to work, to college or to follow the sun all year round. It also meant safety rules around driving become more numerous and continue to evolve, today.
First it was suitable car headrests, then came safety features added to the windscreen glass, followed by the first, modern three-point seatbelts. It didn’t end there as car manufacturers sought to bring the latest safety feature to the market, to attract more drivers and make driving a safer endeavour.
Now we have anti-lock braking systems, built in airbags, cruise control, stability control and blind spot information systems. That’s not to mention more rules on what is and isn’t acceptable, including recent additional rules and fines on mobile phone use and texting while driving.
Self-driving cars are already being produced and they are anticipated to become a big part of the car market over the coming years. And, while drivers will still be required to take and pass driving tests, driverless cars are being designed with safety at their core.
That’s great news for your sun-seeking trips, particularly if you need to drive on the other side of the road and need a little reminder about that from time-to-time.

Enjoy Your Adventures, Safely
As you can see, driving and safety weren’t always happy bedfellows. Particularly one hundred or so years ago, when there were a lot more accidents and incidents of dangerous driving than you might expect for a recreation that wasn’t so accessible.
So, when you’re driving and happen upon your next adventure, remember you might not have been able to do this so easily and safely, without the rules and evolution of car safety, in the past century or so!

Solitare | Photo Elise Hassey @elisehassey