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April 1974

Social Adjustment Profiles of Fatally Injured DriversA Replication and Extension

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;30(4):508-511. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760100074012

Two samples of fatally injured male drivers were retrospectively compared with a normative population on 18 measures of personal and social adjustment by means of the Katz Adjustment Scales, a device for assessing the behavioral characteristics of persons through interviews with knowledgeable informants.

Results obtained from the first sample were essentially replicated in the second, and suggest that fatalities in male drivers, on the average, are seen by informants as having been significantly more belligerent, negative, verbally expansive, hyperactive, and displaying more psychopathology than comparable normative males.

Prior existence and prominence of these traits among the cases studied was supported by Department of Motor Vehicles records indicating a high incidence of traffic violations and by excessive blood alcohol levels at autopsy in the majority. The lack of association in these samples between the behavioral traits implicated and either age or blood alcohol level at autopsy suggests the conclusion that whether young or old, drinking or nondrinking, the socially obstreperous driver is at increased risk of becoming a fatality.