Here’s a question for the history buffs out there: When did the first recorded vehicle collision occur in the United States?
The answer is Sunday, May 28, 1896, in – where else – New York City.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, this is what happened:
Henry Wells of Springfield, Mass., was driving a new Duryea Motor Wagon, the first automobile model made and sold in the United States. Wells collided with Evelyn Thomas of New York, who was riding a bicycle.
Thomas went to the hospital with a broken leg, and Wells spent the night in jail.
Over a century later, there are nearly 6.3 million motor vehicle accidents reported to police per year, with more than 35,000 fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The U.S. Census Bureau published the collision tidbit as part of its “Profile America” series.