Automobiles have changed the way we live in so many ways, from personal freedom to access to jobs. As more people were able to travel, industries sprang up to meet the demands of the automobile. These industries made automobile parts, gasoline, and other materials. Service industries also sprung up to meet the demand for automobiles and their parts.
The automobile was the answer to the dream of a self-propelled carriage of the 19th century. It developed from the self-propelled bicycle. In 1884, Edward Butler built the first commercial three-wheeler, using a horizontal single-cylinder gasoline engine and steerable front wheels with a drive chain to the rear wheel.
While many consider motorcycles to be automobiles, they aren’t. Motorcycles are three-wheeled and have only a limited amount of passenger space. A true automobile will have four wheels and a seat for a large number of people. It can also be a motorcycle with a sidecar or two.
Motorcycles are increasingly popular as modes of transportation and the number of people registering motorcycles is increasing. Motorcycle accidents account for most of the fatalities and injuries involving motorbikes. In 2016, there were 5286 motorcycle-related accidents in the U.S., and 529 in California.