Highway Accidents: Causes and Remedies

December 24, 1952

Report Outline
Postwar Rise in Highway Casualties
The Machine, the Road, the Driver
National Program to Promote Safer Driving

Postwar Rise in Highway Casualties

Traffic deaths in 1952 are approaching the peak recorded in 1941, when 40,000 people were killed in automobile accidents in the United States. The growing toll is the result of the vastly increased use of the motor car since the end of the war. To meet the challenge of death and injury on the highway, an expanding nationwide program of accident prevention has enlisted the skills of high-ranking technicians from more than a dozen fields. Psychologists are studying driver behavior to determine the true causes of car crashes. Spectacular pile-up accidents on “foolproof” superhighways have brought reconsideration of their design features and yielded new knowledge for use in current construction on the national highway system. Safety leaders will bring organized pressure on the 44 state legislatures meeting in 1953 to improve regulatory legislation aimed at reducing highway accidents. They want greater uniformity of traffic regulations, stricter licensing, tighter law enforcement, more police and driver training, modernization of accident reporting, and an overhaul of courts dealing with traffic violations.

Auto Toll Among Members of Armed Forces

The frequency of highway accidents involving servicemen has engaged the serious attention of all branches of the military establishment. In the first eight months of this year, 668 Army personnel died in traffic accidents—all except 89 of them in private rather than military vehicles. It has been estimated that more than one-fourth the injuries suffered by Air Force personnel are incurred in motor car travel. The danger is particularly acute when servicemen on leave attempt to cover long distances in a few hours, often foregoing sleep to get back to camp in time for early morning reveille.

Active driver-training and traffic safety education programs have been instituted at most of the larger military camps, naval stations, and air training centers in this country. And commandants have issued admonitions against drinking while driving to the large numbers of men who will be on leave during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Feb. 01, 2019  Self-Driving Cars
Feb. 17, 2017  Reducing Traffic Deaths
Jul. 25, 2014  Future of Cars
Feb. 06, 2009  Auto Industry's Future Updated
May 16, 2003  SUV Debate
Oct. 26, 2001  Auto Safety
Jan. 21, 2000  Auto Industry's Future
Jul. 25, 1997  Aggressive Driving
Oct. 16, 1992  U.S. Auto Industry
Apr. 27, 1990  Curbing Auto-Insurance Premiums
Jul. 14, 1989  Automakers Face Trouble Down the Road
Aug. 31, 1984  U.S. Auto Industry: Strategies for Survival
Feb. 23, 1979  Auto Research and Regulation
Apr. 28, 1978  Automotive Safety
May 10, 1974  Auto Industry in Flux
Apr. 18, 1973  Auto Emission Controls
Jan. 13, 1971  Auto Insurance Reform
Jul. 27, 1966  Fortunes of Auto Industry
Jun. 04, 1965  Automobile Safety
Jul. 10, 1964  Automobile Insurance and Traffic Safety
Nov. 19, 1958  Small Cars
Apr. 17, 1957  Better Driving
Jul. 01, 1954  Competition in Automobiles
Mar. 23, 1954  Automobile Liability Insurance
Dec. 24, 1952  Highway Accidents: Causes and Remedies
Aug. 21, 1945  Automobiles in the Postwar Economy
Sep. 02, 1938  The Market for Automobiles
Oct. 26, 1932  Outlook for the Automobile Industry
Dec. 10, 1929  Condition of the Automobile Industry
Jan. 30, 1928  Automobile Fatalities and Compulsory Insurance
Dec. 10, 1927  The Status of the Automobile Trade
Motor Traffic and Roads
Motor Traffic Safety