Much of the impetus for automobile safety in the late 50's and early 60's came from public health studies detailing and publicizing the carnage on the highways. In 1959 Dr. C. Hunter Shelden wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association:
“The doors, seats, cushions, knobs, steering wheel and even the overhead structure are so poorly constructed from the safety standpoint that it is surprising anyone escapes from an automobile accident without serious injury.”Daniel Patrick Moynihan - a sociologist who had studied traffic safety while in the administration of Gov. Averill Harriman - in his first published article Epidemic on the Highways cited such studies to push to make cars safer. He combated the National Safety Council's safe driver approach with a safer cars campaign, as the Federal Highway Administration recounts in its online history. Ralph Nader's Unsafe at Any Speed spurred popular calls for action. The public health approach had an impact on how people talked about tort law. And a young Yale law professor Guido Calabresi capsulized and theorized it in The Cost of Accidents - recasting tort law as a way to enhance public safety.
Maybe the Newtown tragedy will help us to reduce the magical thinking of the many who suggest that more guns would save lives. Epidemiologist Charles Branas and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania in a 2009 study showed that gun possession increases by five your odds of getting shot (or shooting yourself). - gwc
Investigating the Link Between Gun Possession and Gun Assault:
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