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Article
November 6, 1926

THE TOLL OF THE AUTOMOBILE

JAMA. 1926;87(19):1560. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680190036012
Abstract

"Eternal vigilance" is essential in the struggle against the enemies of mankind. Sometimes, however, we are so engrossed in attempts to discover the subtle that the obvious tends to be overlooked. One may almost assume that this has happened in the case of the automobile menace to life. Is it adequately realized that few agencies for harm exceed the menace of the now indispensable automobile? According to reports to the United States Department of Commerce from health officials in seventy-eight cities with an estimated population of 32,000,000, there were 4,162 deaths from automobile accidents between January 3 and September 11, which is an average of more than 16 a day and equivalent to an annual death rate of 18.9 per hundred thousand of population.1 The statistician of the National Safety Council notes, according to a recent press report, that motor vehicles throughout the United States in September took a

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