Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What was the biggest vehicle accident ever?

I was reading news reports of this morning's huge traffic accident in Abu Dhabi. It seems that three people were killed and over 300 injured. No-one knows how many vehicles were involved (the police haven't had time to count them all yet), but judging from the photographs it may be over a hundred.

I was curious, and did an Internet search to try to learn what was the biggest car accident (i.e. largest number of vehicles involved in a single accident). To my frustration, no conclusive answer emerged.

I thought I'd put the question to my readers. Does anyone know the answer?

(Oh - in the course of my searching I did find out one interesting fact. The first recorded fatality resulting from an auto accident occurred in 1869, in Ireland. Mary Ward, "a celebrated microscopist, artist, astronomer and naturalist", fell from a "steam carriage" and died after being crushed under its iron wheels.)



Anonymous said...

I just returned from there and can say they are some of the worst drivers on the plant. No seat belts, no turn signals and a strong belief that it must be Gods will if they crash. Much worst than Poland or Mexico City.

Anonymous said...

I recall a fog-induced collision on the Autobahn, near Frankfurt, West Germany, in the mid-70's. Seems to me there were 200+ vehicles involved. And there were others almost as large. Not sure how you'd research it, though. Maybe contact the Polizei?

Anonymous said...

What you are asking for might very difficult to find because this event you have pictured is not "an accident." It is a series of accidents. As an ex-state trooper, I have handled many multi-vehicle accidents and where the layman sees "an accident," I might actually have six or even nine. The thing that defines where one accident stops and another starts is whether or not the vehicles came to rest before being struck again. One vehicle might be involved in two, three, or more accidents during the same event.

I investigated "an accident" once on the freeway system and ended up submitting, as I recall, 32 separate accident reports. Several of the vehicles were involved in several accidents. It's complicated, but what I am saying is that I doubt the number you are looking for can be found.