As far as anybody knows, the first car accident took place late in 1885, when Carl Benz was working on his prototype for the gasoline powered automobile.
Nobody had yet built anything resembling an automobile, and he was still working out the details, like how many wheels it should have, how it would be steered, how it would be stopped, and so on.
While tooling around the public courtyard one night in his hometown of Mannheim, Germany, he drove his 550-pound vehicle into a brick wall.
Despite this mishap, he continued experimenting and in 1886 received the first patent for a gasoline powered velocipede.
Not long after, Benz founded the company that, with a later merger, became Mercedes-Benz.
The first pedestrian ever killed by an automobile was Henry H. Bliss, on September 13, 1899.
The 68 year old real estate broker was hit and killed by a taxi while helping a woman off a trolley at Central Park West and 74th Street in New York City.
Since then, automobiles have killed more than 700,000 other pedestrians.
Every September 13, street safety groups remember poor Mr. Bliss.