The first car accident occurred in 1896!


The victim was hit by a car moving at 4 mph (6.4km/h).

Bridget Driscoll was a 44-year old mother with two children who had come to London with her teenage daughter and a friend to watch a dancing display. The crash occurred on a terrace in the grounds of Crystal Palace in London and while the driver was reported to be doing 4 mph, witnesses described her at being hit by a car traveling at “tremendous speed”. She died minutes later of head injuries.

Car was owned by the Anglo-French Motor Car (Roger-Benz) Company who were offering demonstration rides to the public. At the time of the crash, the car was being driven by Arthur Edsell )an employee of the company). He had been driving for only 3 weeks (no driving tests or licenses existed at that time). He had apparently tampered with the belt, causing the car to go at twice the intended speed and was also said to have been talking to the young lady passenger beside him.

After a six-hour inquest, the jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death”. No prosecution was proposed or brought against the driver or the company. The Coroner at the inquiry is reported to have remarked: ‘I trust that this sort of nonsense will never happen again’.

Additional tags: arthur edsell

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