Close to Home
There was the man who heard that three-fourths of all accidents happen within ten miles of home, so he moved.
The Bell, the Clapper, and the Cord: Wit and Witticism, (Baltimore: National Federation of the Blind, 1994), p. 41.
When a cowboy applied for an insurance policy, the agent asked: “Have you ever had any accidents?”
“Nope,” replied the cowboy. “But a bronc did kick in two of my ribs last summer, and a few years ago a snake bit me on the ankle.”
“Wouldn’t you call those accidents?” asked the puzzled agent.
“Naw,” the cowboy said. “They did it on purpose!”
Today in the Word, November 8, 1995, p. 15.
Birth of the Car Wreck
Fun seekers of the 1890s looked to the horseless carriage for new thrills. But 100 years ago this week, at least one driver found that the automobile can also be a hazard.
On May 30, 1896, motorist Henry Wells hit bicyclist Evylyn Thomas on a New York City street. It was America’s first auto accident. Thomas’s injury: a broken leg; car that Wells was driving: a Duryea motor wagon; Well’s penalty: a night in jail;
The first automobile fatality: Henry H. Bliss (Sept. 13, 1899); how he died: a car hit him after he stepped off a New York streetcar.
Auto accidents: in 1937: 7 million; in 1970: 16 million; in 1994: 6.5 million; auto accident deaths in 1937: 39,643; in 1970: 54,633; in 1994: 40,676.
First speeding arrest: New York cabdriver Jacob German (May 20, 1899); his speed: 12 mph; state that enacted the first speed limit: Connecticut (May 21, 1901); the law: 15 mph on country highways, 12 mph within city limits.
Early safety feature: a “pedestrian catcher” mounted on the front of the car; year the first seat belt was developed: 1908; year the government required new cars to have front-seat lap-shoulder belts: 1968; first company to sell cars with air bags: General Motors (1974).
U.S. News & World Report, June 3, 1996, p. 14.
God’s Perfect Leading
V. Bingham, founder of the Sudan Interior Mission, was once seriously injured in an automobile accident. He was rushed to a hospital in critical condition. The following day, when he regained consciousness, he asked the nurse what he was doing there.
“Don’t try to talk now, just rest,” she replied. “You have been in an accident.” “Accident? Accident!” exclaimed Dr. Bingham. “There are no accidents in the life of a Christian. This is just an incident in God’s perfect leading.”