Close your eyes. You’re in Michigan. The year is 1911. You are sitting in a car next to one Edward N. Haynes, chairman of the Wayne County, Michigan, Board of Roads. Ahead of you is a leaky milk wagon that leaves a white trail along the road. Then, suddenly, Haynes experiences a Eureka moment. You have just witnessed him inventing the first road surface marking.
Until that moment it just did not exist and cars collided with each other all the time.
Bonus fact: Oddly, the idea to paint central road dividers on highways appeared separately – and apparently with no connection – in three different states (Michigan, California, and Oregon). Do I hear “Great minds think alike?”