Vital Statistics: The Accident Toll

Accidents—on the road, at work, at play and in the home—are now the leading cause of death among Americans aged 1 to 37. According to the National Research Council, accidents killed a total of 107,000 Americans last year, temporarily or permanently disabled 10.5 million, caused injury requiring treatment to 52 million. Some 49,000 of the deaths were caused by auto accidents. The bill, in wage losses, medical expenses and insurance settlements, was $18 billion.

Though industrial mishaps have nearly been halved in the past third of a century, and though stringent auto-safety standards will soon be put into effect (see U.S....

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