UK’s first fatal car accident

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Bridget Driscoll, a 44 year old housewife, was crossing the street while travelling to Old Town on August 17th 1896. At this moment she became the first pedestrian to be killed by a car.

UK first fatal car accident

The car belonged to an English/French car company who was giving demonstration rides throughout the town at a staggering 4 mph. Yes that’s right, four miles per hour. I think Austin Powers might have relevant experience.

The driver said that he was doing 4 mph when he ran over Mrs. Driscoll and that he had rung his bell and shouted but Mrs. Driscoll was frozen in terror.  After trail it was decided that her death was accident and the driver was not at fault.

This was also the first time that the term ‘accident’ was used involving violence and speed. The Coroner Mr. William Percy Morrison said after the autopsy, “I hope that such a thing will never happen again”.



4 responses to “UK’s first fatal car accident

  1. It’s amazing that someone could be frozen in terror at a device moving at the same speed as quick walk. I wonder if the driver didn’t have either brakes or a steering wheel?!?!

  2. Upon further research I found that witnesses reported that Mrs. Driscoll and the driver were both “bewildered” by the situation. I would guess that they hadn’t ever heard of someone dying by being run over and they didn’t know how to handle the situation. Seems insane in today’s society.

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