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September 5, 1959


Author Affiliations

Heyburn Building Louisville, Ky.

JAMA. 1959;171(1):92. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010190094023

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To the Editor:—  The letter by John H. Schaefer, M.D., in the June 27 issue of The Journal concerning Dr. Thorndike's paper published in March deserves some comment. Dr. Schaefer is correct in the figures he uses, but these are not the death rates per 100,000 population universally used in estimating death rates from disease and injury. It is true, as he states, that the death rate per 100 million miles has shown a steady decline over the years, but the true death rate as it affects the American people, which is the death rate per 100,000 population, has shown little change in the last 10 years due to the increased number of vehicles and the increased number of miles traveled on American highways.The death rates per 100,000 population from automobile accidents as compiled by the National Safety Council for the last 10 years are as follows:The declining

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