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June 1992

Editorial Introduction

Author Affiliations

Baltimore, Md

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1992;118(6):591. doi:10.1001/archotol.1992.01880060039011

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Society seems to tolerate a certain level of trauma. We have the technology to drastically reduce accidental injuries, but we do not enforce such safety rules until the level of education about a risk reaches some critical proportion, thus becoming the expected norm. Society has a hard time legislating safety. For instance, the reduction in highway speed limits that occurred in the early 1980s, purportedly to conserve fuel, was very unpopular despite the accident rate being lowered below a level we put up with through the 1970s.

The major cause of blunt laryngeal trauma that results in a need for surgical care has been high-speed motor vehicle accidents. Annually, we still kill nearly as many people on our highways as died in combat during the Vietnam conflict, but for some reason, society tolerates this level of personal injury. Recent efforts to increase seat belt use and newer air bag installations

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