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October 4, 1952


JAMA. 1952;150(5):491-492. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.03680050057017

The National Safety Council has anounced that during the first seven months of 1952 there were 20,000 deaths caused by automobiles. This is an increase of 2% over 1951. Rural accidents were responsible for the rise in fatalities, as cities as a whole experienced a 6% decline. Chicago, however, did not have the same experience as other large cities; it showed the worst record of the five cities with a population of more than a million. And yet, as has been shown repeatedly, traffic accidents can be reduced. In Los Angeles traffic deaths have been cut in half in the last four years, and in Detroit there has been a decrease of 46%, in spite of an increase of 32% in car registrations. This appalling death rate offers more than a statistic to the medical profession. It poses an unusual challenge.

Fatal automobile accidents are now a major cause of

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