The first fuel powered car was designed by Benz Patent-Motorwagen way back in 1886 with Ohio City claiming the first gasoline powered car accident in 1891. Engineer James Lambert was said to be driving his very own gasoline powered buggy with James Swoveland as his passenger, when the vehicle hit a tree root Lambert lost control of the car, hitting a hitching post.
Fortunately both men suffered only minor injuries; however accidents are not always that tame – here are some of the biggest car pile ups in history:
Finland, March 2005, 300 Vehicles
One of the most unforgettable car pile ups took place in Helsinki in Finland in March 2005. At least 300 vehicles were involved in this catastrophic pile up which resulted in 3 deaths and more than 60 injuries. The accident was blamed on the weather, heavy snowfall followed by a week of good weather lured drivers into a false sense of security when they were actually driving in treacherous conditions.
Brazil, September 2011, 300 Vehicles
Three hundred vehicles collided with each other along the main route between São Paulo and the coast in Brazil, the pile up stretched along 2km of the Imigrantes highway. Two trucks and three cars caught fire in the collision, which left one person dead and 29 injured.
Germany, July 2009, 259 Vehicles
The biggest car crash in Germany’s history took place back in 2009 on the Autobahn, were speed limits are not enforced. A combination of heavy rain and reckless driving caused a massive pile up involving 259 cars, 60 people were injured and the clean-up was said to have cost over £1.5 million.
Czech Republic, March 2008, 231 Vehicles
A 231 vehicle crash caused by bad weather took place on of the Czech Republic’s major motorways connecting Prague and Brno back in March 2008. With 30 people injured, the pile up caused a 24 mile tail back with around 20,000 people getting stuck in the traffic jam. The damage caused in the accident was said to have cost 28 million crowns – over £800,000.
Los Angeles, Nov 2002, 216 Vehicles
One Sunday morning, a combination of thick fog, wet roads and too much speed resulted in a massive chain reaction crash on the Long Beach Freeway in Los Angeles. Forty people were injures, but miraculously nobody died when 216 cars ploughed into the back of each other in November 2002.
Tennessee, Dec 2011, 176 Vehicles
When three separate chain reaction pile ups occurred in Hendersonville, Tennessee, back in 2011, 176 cars were involved and one person died. The mass of wrecked cars stretched along two miles of Vietnam Vets Boulevard. It began when a car ran off the highway, causing the first of three multi car pile ups.
England, March 1997, 160 Vehicles
Back in 1997 a lorry, driven by David Fairclough, joined the M42 motorway near Bromsgrove where he slammed into the back of a tanker, which then hit the car in front before exploding. The ensuing moments saw another 158 vehicles join the pile up that stretched 400 yards along the motorway. The catastrophic crash happened in dense fog during the early morning rush hour; three people died and another 60 people were injured.
In the UK alone there are around 630,000 to 800,000 road casualties every year, with over 21,000 people seriously injured in car accidents in 2013. If you’ve been injured in a car accident where you weren’t to blame, car accident compensation from Tranter Cleere could help you recover loss of earnings and medical costs.