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    Examination and licensing of operators.—A large number of accidents have been caused indirectly by the failure of many jurisdictions to require a license to drive, or, when a license is required, to examine adequately all applicants and to refuse licenses to those who are a menace.

    Dangerous human traits.—Recklessness, carelessness and incompetence are the human traits which most frequently lead to accidents. So far as practicable, means must be developed for discovering and removing from the highways all who show that they cannot or will not drive in a manner thoroughly consistent with safety. A driver’s incompetence may consist of (a) ignorance of regulations and customs, (b) lack of sufficient strength or quickness or skill in managing his, motor vehicle, (c) serious defect of sight or hearing, (d) defective intelligence, or (e) temperamental inability to maintain self-control and do the right thing in an emergency. This last form of incompetence is the hardest to discover, but the other forms readily come to light in an adequate examination.

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    Conflicting habits.—Confusion, due to conflict of a driver’s old and new habits, or due to different drivers, frequently causes accidents. This confusion can be reduced by the adoption of uniform laws, uniform regulations and rules of the road, uniform signs and signals and uniform mechanisms of car control.

    Alcohol.—The universal condemnation of the intoxicated driver is fully warranted by the facts. It is less generally recognized that even small amounts of alcohol, quite insufficient to intoxicate, tend to decrease the higher forms of skill and perhaps also to lessen the sense of responsibility. It is highly probable that alcohol has contributed to many accidents which have been ascribed to inattention, confusion, recklessness, loose steering gear or some other cause. Investigation is necessary to determine the extent to which alcohol is either a contributory or a principal cause of accidents.

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    Fatigue.—A disproportionately large number of accidents occur at the peak hour of traffic in the late afternoon, as contrasted with the number at the peak hour in the morning. It is important to determine how far various obscure factors, such as fatigue of drivers from a long period at the wheel, as well as fatigue of drivers and pedestrians after a day’s work, cause this significant increase of accidents in the late afternoon, in order intelligently to focus a campaign of prevention upon this period when casualties are most frequent.

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