Since the mid-2000s, navigating to the nearest fast-food joint has been as simple as plugging it into your GPS system. Before that, people had to rely on maps, which required pulling over, as well as a Bachelor's degree in cartography. (OK, not really, but it's not the easiest thing in the world.)
2. Seat Belts
Imagine teaching a high-schooler to drive. Now, imagine the same thing, but without seat belts. Horrified? Of course you are. Although the lap belt has existed since the late 1800s, the three-point seat belt wasn't invented until 1958 and didn't become compulsory for several years.
3. Power Steering
Power steering didn't become available on standard commercial cars until 1954. Before that, driving with one hand either required near-superhuman strength or a knob (popularly and disconcertingly known as a "suicide knob.") Doesn't sound like a huge deal, but being unable to drink your morning coffee and drive your car at the same time might.
4. Air Bags
We take them for granted, but one of the biggest lifesavers of all didn't arrive on the scene (and in our cars) until 1952. Even then, they didn't become standard equipment until the '90s. They're now compulsory, and our faces are thankful.
5. Air Conditioning
Goodbye to sweat; goodbye to sadness. Hello to the sweet greeting of frosty air. In the 1940s, the world saw the first car with factory-installed air conditioning. Before that, one can only assume that summer featured many weepy afternoons for commuters.
Before actual electronic turn signals were introduced, drivers used a series of standard hand signals to indicate their planned movements. And to think, some people can't even muster up the energy to flick their right-turn indicator on.
Before car radios became a real thing, listening to the car's roaring engine was every driver's jam. It was almost as good as the Top 40, but not actually.
Head restraints have only been around since 1968, which was, coincidentally, the exact year that whiplash cases took a big dip. Next time you're sitting back and cruising down the freeway, give thanks to 1968.
9. Windshield Wipers
As if driving in the rain wasn't hairy enough, imagine doing it with manually operated windshield wipers (yes, they were a real thing) or worse — with no wipers at all.
Forget speed limits — before 1901, early cars didn't even have speedometers, which is basically the most terrifying thought ever... until you realize top speeds barely reached 70 mph.