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September 17, 1938


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From the Northwestern Traffic Safety Institute.

JAMA. 1938;111(12):1076-1085. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790380018006

There has been much discussion for many years of the effects of alcohol on human beings. A major question now is the effects of alcohol on the automobile driver. All too often discussions involving alcohol have been colored by emotion and have suffered from lack of facts.

Recognizing the importance of drinking to safety, I hope to define objectively and unemotionally the part alcohol plays in the accident problem. Scientific methods have lately been perfected that make such a definition possible. Through their use, it is hoped that a step forward will be taken in the solution of a serious problem.

Alcohol has long been considered an important cause of accidents. Every one will concede that it impairs the judgment and physical abilities. With the coming of the motor car, the importance of alcohol as a causative factor in accidents became increasingly apparent. Driving a motor car calls for quick

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