On each day in 1976 in England and Wales approximately forty-one people died and thousands more were either severely or slightly injured as a result of accidents. Such occurrences generate substantial social and economic costs which are borne not only by accident victims themselves but also by their relatives and the community as a whole. A growing appreciation of the extent of these burdens and of the potential for preventing a significant proportion of accidental injuries and fatalities has in recent years drawn much public and professional attention to the problem. Yet the resources available for intensifying any attempts to reduce the occurrence of accidents are scarce. In this context one of the principal aims of this paper is to identify those areas in which the toll of accidents is particularly great.