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Wednesday, 27 July 2011


The first ever first self-propelled road vehicle was built by Nicholas-Joseph Cugenot in France in 1770 to pull cannon for the army.  Cugenot was also responsible for the first ever motor vehicle crash when he drove into a stone wall in Paris.

The first man killed by a train was David Brook, a Leeds, Yorkshire carpenter. On December 5, 1821, he was walking home in a sleet storm along the lines of the Middleton freight railway when he was run over with fatal results.

1822 locomotive (Railway Magazine, 100, October 1905 Wikipedia

The first road accident victims in a self-propelled vehicle occurred in 1834 when five passengers died in a steam coach crash at Paisley, Scotland.

The first pedestrian knocked down and killed by an automobile in Britain was a certain Bridget Driscoll. According to eye-witness accounts, on August 17, 1896, she walked in front of a Benz vehicle going four miles an hour (6.4 km/h) at Crystal Palace and was so startled that she stood rooted to the spot and was struck.

69-year-old Henry Hale Bliss was the first person killed by a motor vehicle accident in the United States. On September 13, 1899 he was disembarking from a streetcar at West 74th Street and Central Park West in New York City, when an electric-powered taxicab struck him and crushed his head and chest. He died from his injuries the next morning. Arthur Smith, the driver of the taxicab, was arrested and charged with manslaughter but was acquitted on the grounds that it was unintentional.

Henry Bliss, 1873

The first mortality in an airplane crash was Lieutenant Thomas E. Selfridge who was the passenger when Orville Wright crashed a US War Department test plane in on September 17, 1908 after losing control at 75 feet. Orville broke a leg and two ribs.

Crashed Wright Flyer that took the life of Tom Selfridge

The worst rapid transit accident in US history occurred on November 1, 1918 in Brooklyn, New York City, when a five-car train derailed in the Malbone Street tunnel after negotiating a curve too quickly. 97 were killed at the site, and five later died of their injuries.

In 1920, Boulder, Colorado’s first (two day old) police car crashed into the city’s first fire truck while responding to a call. The accident killed three people, including the chief of police.

Guglielmo Marconi, the developer of the wireless, lost the use of his right eye in an automobile accident.

Because of the blackouts introduced in Britain during World War II, a 20 mph speed limit in darkness was introduced in 1940 in an attempt to combat the high number of road accidents.

Murphy's law is an adage that is typically stated as: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. It is named after aerospace engineer, who worked on safety-critical systems Edward A. Murphy Jr. (January 11, 1918 – July 17, 1990) and is a misinterpretation of his statement "If there's more than one way to do a job, and one of those ways will result in disaster, then he [his assistant] will do it that way."

A 17-year-old girl, Juliane Diller, was the sole survivor of 92 passengers and crew in the December 24, 1971 crash of LANSA Flight 508 in the Peruvian rain forest. While still strapped to her seat, she fell 10,000 feet from the aircraft and landed down into the Amazon rain forest, where she trekked through the jungle for 10 days until she was rescued by local forestry workers.

The worst aviation accident in history occurred on March 27, 1977 when two Boeing 747 airliners collided on a foggy runway on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, killing 583 (all 248 on KLM and 335 on Pan Am). 61 survived on the Pan Am flight.

The deadliest road accident in U.S. history was the 1976 Yuba City bus disaster when 29 were killed in Martinez, California.

Road accidents are the leading cause of death around the world for people aged 15-29.

The odds of dying in a car accident are 1 in 5000. Odds of dying in a plane crash are 1 in 11 million.

Around the world traffic accidents kill more than 1.25 million people a year and injure 50 million.

Silver-colored cars are the least likely to be involved in motor accidents, because they’re most visible on the road and in low light.

Eighty per cent of plane crashes occur in the first three or last eight minutes of a flight.

On average you could fly every day for 123,000 years before being in a fatal crash.

An average passenger travelling on Western-built planes would have to take over 5.3 million flights before being involved in an accident.

In the US between 1983 and 2000, there were 568 plane crashes. 51,207 of the 53,487 people aboard, got out alive: a survival rate of 96%.

69% of people in the rear of an airplane survive crashes, compared to 49%, at the front.

The day after Memorial Day starts the "100 Deadliest Days" for teen drivers in the US, where fatal accidents involving teen drivers increase by 15% compared to the rest of the year.

On Super Bowl Sunday, pizza delivery drivers get into more accidents than on any other day of the year.

Your bedroom is the scene of about 40 percent of all accidents in the home. No other room in your home ranks higher.

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