Medicine: None for the Road?

Automobiles kill 37,000 Americans every year, and until now, cutting this rate has been largely left to the law. Now doctors are beginning to take responsibility for preventing auto deaths. Reason: excessive drinking is a cause of an estimated 50% of car fatalities, and the use and abuse of alcohol are in medicine's province. Last week in Pittsburgh, the U.S. Public Health Service convened a national conference on traffic safety focused solely on the part played by alcohol.

A clear distinction, said California's Dr. Ira H. Cisin at Pittsburgh, must be made among three types of drinking drivers. Two of them...

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