Transportation Factoids

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Did You Know?

George Washington is considered by many to be the nation’s first engineer due to his survey work.

The word “engineer” is derived from Latin words that mean “to contrive, devise” and “cleverness.”

The Hyperloop—a new transportation concept proposed by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk—would transport passengers in pressurized capsules that float on a cushion of air, and could reach top speeds of nearly 800 mph. Taking the Hyperloop, which is currently in the early stages of development and testing, passengers could travel from Los Angeles to the San Francisco Bay Area in only 35 minutes.

For every 1,000 people in the U.S., there are about 800 motor vehicles.

The nation has about 3.9 million miles of roads and highways.

The economic cost of congestion on America’s major urban highways due to wasted time and fuel is estimated at $101 billion annually.

The first electric car was built in 1884. In 1900, nearly half of American automobiles were powered by steam, 38% by electricity, and 22% by gasoline.

In gasoline-powered vehicles, only about 15% of the energy from fuel in the tank is used to move the car down the road. The rest of the energy is lost due to engine inefficiency, idling, and other factors.

The length of a yellow traffic signal before turning red is determined using a formula that figures in stopping distance and driver reaction time. The timing of a yellow light varies in different cities, but is usually between three and six seconds.

About one in nine of the nation’s bridges are rated as structurally deficient, while the average age of the nation’s bridges is about 42 years.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the annual cost of airport delays and congestion in 2012 was nearly $22 billion.

Aaron Mack
Fast Forward: Volume 2: Issue 1 - Highway