Deirdre and Patrick

Death in the Seine


April 2016

Accidents in Paris: Automobile

Statistics and other information were just beginning to be kept in New York City pertaining to the number and nature of car accidents. In an article published by Taylor and Frances, Ltd., on behalf of the American Statistical Association, Mr. E.S. Clowes described the “Street Accident (in) New York City.” The article states that in 1912, there were 532 fatal traffic accidents in New York City. In Paris in 1911, there were 236 fatal traffic accidents. In London in 1911, 56 people lost their lives in accidents. Mr. Clowes confirms that by these statistics Paris was the most dangerous and London the most safe of European cities for who records were kept. Paris had a fatality per rate of one million of 81 fatalities due to traffic accidents. This article was published in June of 1913.



The Automobile in Paris 1913

Cars and automobiles and delivery trucks and busses were still new to Paris in 1913 and were causing unanticipated problems in the traffic of the city. In 1900, Paris had three thousand cars. By 1909, the number was fifty thousand and by 1913, the number was one hundred thousand. The Paris Municipal Council had tried to address the ballooning traffic problems and had tried to banish automobiles from some streets in the capital. However there was truly no way to calm the excitement and the love of Parisians for this new mode of transportation. Horrible accidents like the one that is the subject of this blog happened regularly. All this with a “dangerous “ speed of 10 to 15 miles per hour.

(see Rabate, Jean-Michael. 1913:The Cradle of Modernism)

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