On this day in history: First pedestrian in Britain to die after being hit by a car.

Woman becomes the first pedestrian in Britain to die after being hit by a car in 1896

Driscoll family portrait. Pic: Wiki commons


The first recorded case of a person being killed by an automobile was Bridget Driscoll, on 17 August 1896. Driscoll, who was believed to be in her mid 40s, received fatal injuries when she walked into the path of a car moving at 4 mph.

Driscoll was said to be attending a Catholic League of the Cross fete with her 16-year-old daughter and a friend.

The vehicle, which belonged to an Anglo-French Motor Car Company, was giving demonstration rides in the grounds of Crystal Palace.

The collision occured within a few weeks of a new Act of Parliament, which increased the speed limit for cars to 14 mph  from 2 miles per hour in towns and 4 miles per hour in the countryside.

The coroner told her inquest that he hoped Driscoll’s death would be the last death as a result of this type of accident.




Leave a Reply