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To the Editor:—
The term "motor vehicle accident" should cover all accidents that cause injury to person or property on the highway. Such accidents, whether slight or severe, are due to similar causes such as defects or obstacles in the highway; a highway inadequately guarded by lights, signs or other devices; a defective motor vehicle; a careless or incapacitated pedestrian; an unfit motorist, or a combination of two or more such causes. At this time reports are required only of accidents that cause personal injuries or substantial property damage. Other accidents are ignored as far as compulsory reporting is concerned. Such a distinction is as irrational as would be an attempt to prevent the spread of a communicable disease by requiring reports of only such cases as were manifestly serious.The chief factor in motor vehicle accidents may well be the unfit motorist; unfit notwithstanding the official permit that he
Woodward WC. A NEW APPROACH TO THE PREVENTION OF MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS. JAMA. 1947;135(15):1025. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02890150069021