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Ever since man invented wheels there have been people acting negligently on or around them resulting in injuries and deaths for innocent people. 

Today we face myriad challenges with respect to saving lives on our roads, including addressing the societal scourges of driving under the influence and distracted driving.

As we continue working toward an auto-accident free world, we’re reminded of a famous quote by philosopher George Santayana, who said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” 

We can’t remember the full history of accidents on our planet because we haven’t been around that long. However, we can take a look back at some of the first – and most famous – motor vehicle accidents. Take a couple minutes and join us. 

The Tale of King Tut & The Chariot

In 2013 a team of scientists determined that Egyptian King Tutankhamun’s death was the result of a chariot accident. According to Forbes the team, led by Dr. Chris Naunton of the Egypt Exploration Society conducted a “virtual autopsy” of the mummified remains that showed a “distinct pattern of injuries on one side of Tut’s body”. Car crash investigators took over at that point to conduct computer simulations of the accident. 

Just goes to show that even the royal among us are not immune to the dangers of vehicle accidents. 

Oh, Henry

Henry Hale Bliss was the first person killed in a motor vehicle crash in the United States. He died on September 14, 1899, the day after sustaining injuries when an electric-powered taxicab struck his head and chest. 

The accident took place in Central Park West, and a plaque was dedicated at the site on September 13, 1999 to mark the 100th anniversary of the accident. 

Celebrity Car Wrecks

The rich and famous have been anything but removed from tragedy behind the wheel. Numerous celebrities have met their demise in car crashes, including: 

  • James Dean
  • Jackson Pollock
  • Albert Camus
  • Eddie Cochran
  • Tara Browne
  • Princess Grace of Monaco
  • Marc Bolan
  • Jayne Mansfield
  • Helmut Newton

Learn more