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1953 newspaper article comparing  military deaths and deaths by traffic accidents part 1
1953 newspaper article comparing  military deaths and deaths by traffic accidents part 2
NOTE:  This article contains statistics of war deaths.

From The Charleroi Mail, Charleroi, PA, April 11, 1953, page 6:

Auto Still Big Killer

NEW YORK - The nation's wars have killed close to 1,010,000 of its fighting men in the 178 years since the Battle of Lexington was fought on April 19, 1775.  But the automobile is still continuing to prove a more relentless mass killer of Americans in U.S. highway accidents, the Association of Casualty and Surety Companies said today.

Some 1,009,750 U.S. military deaths have occurred in all the wars in American history from the first battle of the Revolution through the Korean conflict to date, according to the latest compilation of the Association's continuing comparative study of war and traffic casualties.

At the 178th anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord, which occurs next Sunday, the historic total of American military deaths in wars stands about 40,000 below the aggregate of nearly 1,050,000 deaths in all highway accidents since the first U.S. automobile fatality happened in New Yourk City 53 [and] 1/2 years ago.

Nearly 15 months ago the historic fatality tolls of war and the automobile were both around the 1,005,000 mark, the Association said.  Pointing out the far faster rate at which traffic deaths are occurring currently, even in a period of war, it added that while more than 5,000 U.S. battle deaths have occurred in Korea since February, 1952, when the two totals were even, about 45,000 men, women and children have been killed by automobiles in U.S. highway accidents.

The study shows that modern warfare on a global scale, as in World Wars I and II, has claimed America lives at annual rates between 80,000 and 90,000 during a large-scale conflict.  The contracts (sic=contrasts) with a yearly average of 1,116 Continental soldiers lost in the American Revolution, or 93 monthly during the six years and six months before the nation's first war ended at Yorktown on September 19, 1791, with a total loss of 6,118 American lives.

American military deaths in World War I totaled 130,274; in World War II there were 325,264.  The first global conflict killed U.S. fighting men at an annual rate of 82,250, averaging 6,850 monthly.  In the second one the yearly rate of military deaths increased nearly 5,000 to 88,800, averaging 7,400 monthly for 45 months.

In the 34 months of the Korean war to date approximately 23,500 American soldiers have died.  In the current conflict, military deaths have averaged 8,400 annually and 700 monthly, far below the fatality rates of the two previous wars.

While U.S military deaths during World War II averaged only 5.7 percent higher than in World War I on an annual basis, the Association said, highway fatalities diring the period of the second world conflict rose 279 percent over the yearly average of the war period a quarter of a century earlier.  Since 1945 the annual traffic death toll has risen still another 165 percent, it added, or 445 percent above the 1917-1918 average.  Military deaths in the Korean War to date have averaged about 10 percent of the annual war fatality rates of the two world conflicts.



View U.S.A. military deaths on a Department of Defense Chart

View U.S.A. military deaths -PDF File, requires FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader


Just for comparison....

Traffic Deaths 1899 to 2003 (PDF file) 

Total Traffic Fatalities vs. Alcohol Related Traffic Fatalities - 1982-2006
Calendar Year Total Killed in
Alcohol Related Crashes
Total Killed in
All Traffic Crashes
Number Percent Number Percent
1982 26,173 60% 43,945 100.0%
1983 24,635 58% 42,589 100.0%
1984 24,762 56% 44,257 100.0%
1985 23,167 53% 43,825 100.0%
1986 25,017 54% 46,087 100.0%
1987 24,094 52% 46,390 100.0%
1988 23,833 51% 47,087 100.0%
1989 22,424 49% 45,582 100.0%
1990 22,587 51% 44,599 100.0%
1991 20,159 49% 41,508 100.0%
1992 18,290 47% 39,250 100.0%
1993 17,908 45% 40,150 100.0%
1994 17,308 43% 40,716 100.0%
1995 17,732 42% 41,817 100.0%
1996 17,749 42% 42,065 100.0%
1997 16,711 40% 42,013 100.0%
1998 16,673 40% 41,501 100.0%
1999 16,572 40% 41,717 100.0%
2000 17,380 41% 41,945 100.0%
2001 17,400 41% 42,196 100.0%
2002 17,524 41% 43,005 100.0%
2003 17,105 40% 42,884 100.0%
2004 16,919 39% 42,836 100.0%
2005 17,590 40% 43,510 100.0%
2006 17,602 41% 42,642 100.0%

*Source - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration FARS data
These numbers were imputed using a new method effective August, 2002 (PDF)


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