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September 14, 1940

THE MENTAL HYGIENE ASPECT OF THE TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

JAMA. 1940;115(11):903-906. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810370011004
Abstract

In 1937 motor vehicle accidents were ninth in the list of ten principal causes of death in the United States. In spite of this, public health authorities have not given this cause of death as much attention as they have to others. When one realizes that in that year 39,643 persons died in highway accidents1—a mortality rate of 30.7 per cent—one must admit that if public health authorities, psychiatrists and others interested in the medical aspect of life and death can take any part in the solution of the traffic accident problem it is their duty to do so.

One can emphasize this even more definitely by pointing out that among persons in the youth range, from 5 to 19 years of age, in 1937 motor vehicle accidents were the second highest cause of death,1 and that in 1939, while the death rate decreased, resulting in only

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