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The Military Looks at Traffic Safety

Stephen S. Jackson
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 320, Highway Safety and Traffic Control (Nov., 1958), pp. 113-121
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1032022
Page Count: 9
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The Military Looks at Traffic Safety
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Abstract

The Department of Defense faces a two-fold traffic safety problem. First, it is the owner of one of the world's largest motor vehicle fleets, with aggregate annual mileages totalling in the billions; second, it is the employer of millions of young men, 2,000 of whom die every year in traffic accidents. Vigorous safety campaigning on the part of the Department has resulted in an impressive reduction in the number of accidents involving government-owned vehicles. The campaign to reduce the number of off-duty accidents to servicemen, however, faces many obstacles. The armed forces are composed largely of young men in the age group most prone to accidents; the chances are increased still further by the fact that servicemen, usually located somewhere away from their homes, are very likely to want to drive long distances on holiday and week-end leaves. The ability of the services to combat accidents is limited by their lack of control over the serviceman and his car when neither is on military property. Many techniques, however, are used. A close liaison with the states permits education of offenders; tests to weed the bad drivers from the good allow education for the poor risks even before they have become violators. Inspection of cars located on base, lectures, driving rodeos, and movies are all aspects of the campaign which has earned high praise for the safety efforts of the Department.

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