9 Bits of Irony


James Dean

In 1955, actor James Dean advised teens about the dangers of speeding and drag racing in a two-minute televised public service announcement. Dean talked about how he used to "fly around quite a bit" on the highways, but then he took up track racing, and after that he became "extra cautious" on the highways. He also warned, "The life you save may be mine."

On September 30, 1955, Dean was pulled over for speeding in his Porsche 550 Spyder on his way to a race in Palm Springs, California. Later that afternoon, an oncoming vehicle crossed into Dean's lane and the two cars collided almost head-on. Dean was pronounced dead at the hospital.