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December 3, 1955

CRASH AND LIVE—NEED CARS KILL MORE SOLDIERS THAN GUNS?

JAMA. 1955;159(14):1347-1350. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960310011007
Abstract

During the Korean war only half of the hospitalized casualties were the result of enemy action. During this same conflict, more Americans were killed in the United States in automobile accidents than were killed in the war.1 The automobile is the military establishment's and the nation's greatest killer. An American is injured every 24 seconds and one is killed every 14 minutes in a traffic accident.

Because of the age group with which we deal in the military services we are concerned with a segment of population that has no aged, inactive, sedentary part; all drive and drive a great deal. One might then expect a considerably increased automobile injury and death rate in the armed forces. Adjusted for male groups of comparable ages, the military service has about 30% more fatalities due to auto accidents than do civilians.2 The 2,000 deaths, the 22,000 injuries, the 70 million dollar

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