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In 1949 motor vehicles were responsible for 31,500 deaths. According to the National Safety Council 91,000 lives were lost through accidents in this year. An additional 9,400,000 men, women and children were injured accidentally. The cost of all accidents was estimated to be $7,200,000,000. This cost included wage losses, medical expense, insurance, production delays, damage to equipment and property damage. Motor vehicles caused the most accidents. Home accidents accounted for 30,500 deaths, occupational activities for 15,000 and public accidents other than motor vehicles for 16,000. Falls caused death for 24,200, burns for 7,800, drownings for 6,800 and firearms for 2,200.
Although the accident rate in 1949 declined 3 per cent, representing a saving of 3,000 lives over 1948, the figures are still shocking. Many of these accidents could have been prevented. When new traffic control measures to reduce traffic toll are instituted the results are convincing of the importance of
ACCIDENTS. JAMA. 1950;142(10):732. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910280040012