Even in the days of horses and horse-drawn vehicles, there was a risk of injury or death on the roads. Accidents often happened due to horses bolting, reckless driving or from crossing flooded rivers.
One account of an accident is of Mr Shepherd, the co-owner of the Cobb and Co. coaches. In October 1871, while driving on the beach between Pātea and Whanganui, he was thrown off his box seat through a wheel of the coach striking a boulder. He died from his injuries, thus leaving Mr Young (his ex-business partner) the whole enterprise.
2003-219 Train derailment, Aotea Utanganui Collection
The introduction of motorised vehicles made road transport faster and therefore more dangerous. Poor roads initially added to the risk. Today with the increase of vehicles on the road, the high speeds vehicles can reach, the road and weather conditions and the large freighting trucks, South Taranaki roads are still as dangerous as ever.
Deegan motor accident 1914, Puke Ariki pho2011-1982
An Egmont County roading accident c1915
Newspaper Article – Patea Mail, 13 October 1882, Page 2
The Nine Main Causes of Motor Accidents, the Rode Code Booklet, 1971
For more about this exhibition view the catalogue below.