The first car accident

1771 France – Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot’s second steam-powered vehicle is said to have crashed into a wall during a test run, in what would have been the first automobile accident.

However, it is disputed that this ever happened. According to Georges Ageon the earliest mention of this occurrence dates from 1801 and it does not feature in contemporary accounts.

August 31, 1869 Ireland– While riding as a passenger with relatives in an experimental steam car, Mary Ward was thrown from the car and fell under the wheels as it rounded a bend.

This is believed to be the first recorded automobile death. It took place in the town of Birr, which was known at that time as Parsonstown.

The car was built by her cousins, the sons of William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse.
1890 London had 5,728 street accidents, resulting in 144 deaths. It may be that not all of these involved motorized carriages.

1891 US. John William Lambert, was involved in the first automobile accident in American history. The accident occurred in Ohio City, Ohio.

Lambert’s vehicle—the first single-cylinder gasoline automobile, which was carrying Lambert and James Swoveland, hit a tree root, causing the car to careen out of control and smash into a hitching post. Injuries from this accident were minor.

17 August 1896 UK – Bridget Driscoll is the first person to die in a petrol-engined car accident, and the first pedestrian victim of an automobile accident in the United Kingdom.

As she crossed the grounds of the Crystal Palace in London, she was struck by an automobile belonging to the Anglo-French Motor Carriage Company that was being used to give demonstration rides.

25 February 1899 UK – Edwin Sewell and Major Richer are thrown from their vehicle on Harrow on the Hill, Middlesex, London, and killed. Sewell’s death is the first fatality of a driver recorded.

13 September 1899 – Henry H. Bliss is the first person killed by a car in the United States.

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