March 15, 1985

Preventing Traffic Fatalities-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Lund Lund, Sweden

JAMA. 1985;253(11):1560. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350350053015

In Reply.—  In our article, the main issue was not to discuss the topic of preventing accidents from occurring but to describe and evaluate a trauma care system. We did not address the questions raised by the writers of the letter. Nevertheless, we can provide some data that are interesting when primary prevention of traffic fatalities is discussed.The number of traffic fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants was 9.1 in Sweden and 18.9 in the United States in 1982.1 Of the numerous factors that can account for this difference, we will comment on primary prevention like reduced drunk driving and the use of seat belts and helmets.1. Alcohol. As stated by the writers of the letter, more than one third of traffic fatality victims are legally intoxicated in the United States. In our investigation, 17% were legally intoxicated at the time of the accident, ie, 21 of the 126