[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
April 15, 1974

Fatally Injured Drivers

JAMA. 1974;228(3):343-344. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230280045035

In the current issue of Archives of General Psychiatry (30:508-511, 1974), Shaffer and his colleagues cite other reports that indicate variations of opinion about "accident-proneness" as a factor in serious automobile accidents. At the same time, increasing emphasis has been given to the "drinking driver" as a major factor in causing traffic accidents. Accordingly, the authors conducted a "psychological autopsy" in all cases of male driver fatalities that occurred in Baltimore County between August 1968 and May 1972. In effect, the authors were seeking to validate the results of an earlier study in which they demonstrated that 25 driver fatality victims exhibited significantly more belligerence, negativism, general psychopathology, and hyperactivity than a normative population of men.1

The present study, again numbering 25 men, differed from the first in two respects: only drivers of late-model cars (not more than three years old) were included, and there was somewhat less success