Prevention of Highway Accidents

July 25, 1939

Report Outline
Reduction of Accidents in 1938 and 1939
Education: Training Drivers and Pedestrians
Engineering: Improving Highways and Motor Vehicles
Special Focus

Reduction of Accidents in 1938 and 1939

Motor Vehicle Death Rates, 1939–1938

Deaths from motor vehicle accidents in 1938 showed a decrease for the first time since 1932; and for the first year since records have been kept there were fewer fatalities despite an actual increase in the number of motor car miles driven. The decline in auto fatalities continued during the first six months of 1939, but the rate of decline this year is less favorable than it was in 1938.

The death rate per 100,000,000 motor vehicle miles has fallen every year since 1934, showing a decline of nearly 30 per cent for the five-year period.

For every death resulting from a motor vehicle accident, it is estimated that there are 35 non-fatal injuries. On that basis, there were 1,150,000 injuries in 1938. No general figures are yet available for 1939, but the Bureau of the Census reports 3,401 deaths from motor vehicle accidents in 135 cities during the first 26 weeks, as compared with 3,800 deaths during the same period in 1938, The reduction is 10.5 per cent, whereas the whole year 1938 showed an 18.3 per cent drop from the 1937 figures.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Highways and Roads
Apr. 19, 2019  Aging Infrastructure
Sep. 11, 2017  Infrastructure
Jun. 06, 2016  Infrastructure
May 04, 2012  Distracted Driving
Sep. 28, 2007  Aging Infrastructure Updated
Oct. 06, 2000  Drunken Driving
Mar. 12, 1999  Truck Safety
Jul. 14, 1995  Highway Safety
Oct. 09, 1981  Interstate Highway System at Twenty-Five
May 05, 1965  Highway Design and Beautification
Sep. 02, 1960  Progress of the Road Program
Mar. 06, 1957  Billboards and Roadside Controls
Dec. 13, 1954  New Highways
Jul. 25, 1939  Prevention of Highway Accidents
May 13, 1935  Elimination of Highway Grade Crossings
Dec. 24, 1932  Federal Highway Aid and the Depression
Apr. 30, 1931  Billboards and Roadside Improvement
Feb. 14, 1929  Toll Bridges and Toll Roads
Jul. 11, 1927  Ten Years of Federal Aid in Road Building
Motor Traffic and Roads
Motor Traffic Safety