Autos Main Cause of Accident (Aug, 1930)

Autos Main Cause of Accidents

THE automobile continues to be the most dangerous article in America. Inside the home, bathtubs and loose rugs on floors vie with each other for the doubtful distinction of being most dangerous to human life and limb. More people are injured inside homes themselves than in gardens, farmyards or otherwise around the home. More than twice as many people are injured when riding in automobiles than as pedestrians.

In seriousness of injuries as measured by the money value of claims for accident insurance, automobile injuries again are far in the lead, being more than twice as costly on the average as injuries at home or to pedestrians and about one – fourth more costly than injuries to travelers. Among the causes of injuries by automobiles, collisions with other automobiles holds first place, accounting for 1572 injuries in 1929.

10 comments
  1. John Savard says: May 18, 20107:05 am

    Today, that would sound like “Rain main cause of floods”. In fact, “accident” almost means “car accident” by definition; one doesn’t think of people falling down stairs or tripping over things as accidents unless one is an insurance adjuster.

  2. Don says: May 18, 201011:29 am

    John: Really? Never heard of an “industrial accident”? That time I pushed a piece of sharp branch into the side of my foot, not an accident? Like I did it on purpose??

    There are still a lot of accidents happening that don’t involve cars . . . .

  3. Firebrand38 says: May 18, 201012:54 pm

    John: Gee, somebody better tell the people listed on this website (I’ve chosen the Disneyland page) that their so-called accidents don’t count since automobiles weren’t involved http://www.rideaccident…

  4. Andrew L. Ayers says: May 18, 20101:35 pm

    Actually, to a point – John is kinda correct. When people speak of an automobile accident they were involved in, they typically say something like “I was in an accident” – and for the most part (at least here in the US), we automatically think “automobile accident”. However, when someone injures themselves, they will typically say something like “I accidentally hit my head” or “I fell off the ladder by accident”…

    Speaking of ladders, a ladder is typically one of the most dangerous tools you may own (whether it is a full size ladder or a step-ladder). The only other tool I can think of that has a similar danger (but statistically is less because ladders are used more often) is a chainsaw. Both can cause grievous injury or death at a drop of a hat…

  5. John Savard says: May 18, 20103:16 pm

    Of course there are other kinds of accident. But I suppose that the point of including this article was that it marked a watershed moment in American history, when the automobile became the chief cause of accidents outside of the workplace – something that is taken for granted today, but which was a new phenomenon once.

  6. Toronto says: May 18, 20103:18 pm

    Most car crashes aren’t accidents. They’re the direct result of inattentive driving and a false sense of security/invunerability, plus a sad believe that things like ABS and silicon rubber wipers mean you don’t have to slow down in the rain/snow/night or while driving into the sun.

    “Be careful? Heck, I’ve got two tons of steel, seven airbags, and a horn! And my taxes pay for this road!”

  7. Firebrand38 says: May 18, 20104:15 pm

    Toronto: Well, they aren’t “on purposes”.

  8. Buddy says: May 19, 20101:32 am

    @4 ALA – I would also add slotted screwdrivers and screws. How many times have you slipped and stabbed your fingers or scratched a finish? Personally I think open slotted screws should be banned. Phillips is okay but Robertson is the best!

  9. Rick Auricchio says: May 19, 201011:42 am

    And here I always thought human error was the main cause of accidents. Unless I’m wrong, in which case this reply is accidental.

  10. K!P says: May 20, 20103:07 am

    @Andrew: ladders and chainsaws are often used togehter, is there compensation in that statistic or does it double up :)

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