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March 24, 1989

The Soda Crush

JAMA. 1989;261(12):1732. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420120064025

7b the Editor.—  I read the article by Dr Cosio1 concerning the soda pop vending machine injuries with great interest. The article states that a force of 81.6 kg (179.5 lb) needs to be exerted to tip a low-weight soda pop machine past the point of equilibrium so that it could conceivably fall on an individual.Since such a force is not a trivial amount and therefore must be exerted with foresight, it would seem that soda pop machines as described in the article are not inherently unstable or dangerous. Rather than recommend redesign of the machines, it would seem more cost-effective merely to continue to remind people of the obvious.Perhaps a warning label could be attached to the soda pop machines: "Push this machine hard enough and it will tip over and squash you like a bug!"