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Physicians' Responsibility in Prevention of Bodily Injuries by the Automobile

Seymour Charles, MD; John States, MD
JAMA. 1966;197(1):37-42. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110010089022.
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The automobile is the etiological agent in an epidemic accounting for some 50,000 deaths and 4 million injuries each year. This epidemic is outranked as the cause of death in our country today only by cancer and cardiovascular disease.1-3 The automobile is the first cause of death in young people between the ages of 15 and 24 years, therefore the principal killer of our young parents. The probabilities are that one out of every two Americans will be involved in his lifetime in an injury-producing collision.

There are now some 95 million drivers in this country. By 1975 there are expected to be an additional 30 million drivers. At the current rate of increase (17% in the last two years) in the next decade, the annual death rate from the automobile will pass the 100,000 mark and the cost of accidents will climb from 8.2 to 15 billion per


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