Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; Journal
Review Editor: Brenda L. Seago, MLS, MA, Medical College of Virginia Campus,
Virginia Commonwealth University.
Americans are unsafe drivers, and paradoxically, the work of Ralph Nader
is largely to blame. So argues world-renowned traffic safety expert Leonard
Evans in his comprehensive and compelling book Traffic Safety.
Evans’ work covers in remarkable detail the full range of important
topics in traffic safety, from sport utility vehicles (SUVs) to drinking and
driving to the latest safety technologies, but his chapter “The Dramatic
Failure of U.S. Safety Policy” is the showstopper. There he presents
statistics showing that the United States went from having the lowest traffic
fatality rate among highly developed countries as recently as the 1970s to
having a much higher rate than countries such as Great Britain, Canada, and
Australia as of 2002. The irony, he points out, is that the media and general
public have been too busy lavishing praise on those involved in US safety
policy to notice the far greater improvements elsewhere.
Eisenberg D. Traffic. JAMA. 2005;294(6):746-747. doi:10.1001/jama.294.6.746