Personality Factors in Accident Causation

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Valentine, Deborah
Williams, Martha
Young, Robert K.

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Council for Advanced Transportation Studies


This report reviews the literature on the association of personality traits and accidents. The personality of the accident repeater is reviewed. In general, aggression seems to be a critical link between alcoholism, depression, patterns of reaction to stress, the theory of the accident process, suicide and accidents. However, the research in this area has often been criticized, and countermeasure development to deal with complex psychological forces will be difficult. Rather than view an accident as an isolated event, researchers now propose that accidents are preceded by a number of often recognizable signs which indicate stress, anxiety, and conflict. It may be possible to develop intervention strategies which short circuit the accident process.


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