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April 8, 1939

MOTOR ACCIDENTS AT NIGHT

JAMA. 1939;112(14):1344-1345. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800140042014

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Abstract

Numerous accidents at night on the highways continue to indicate the need of more adequate supervision of traffic. Whereas the enforcement of traffic laws has heretofore been mainly a daytime activity, many cities are now placing policemen on streets to handle traffic during the dark hours. Most motorists obtain their experience and training under daylight conditions; the problems that arise at night have not been sufficiently impressed on drivers, and traffic engineering has not kept pace with the situation.

The fatal motor accident rate at night, on the basis of traffic, is more than three times the accident rate during daylight. Motor vehicle fatalities during the hours of darkness have increased 43 per cent since 1930. The entire increase in traffic deaths in 1937 over those in 1936 resulted from the increase in night accidents. However, the recent emphasis on safe driving at night is producing results. The Committee on

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