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Car Accidents and Collective Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

March 27, 2017

What do we know about car accidents and modern society?  We know that injury from auto accidents is a major public health concern.  In the United States, there are about six million auto accidents each year resulting in about three million people injured.  We know that many people do not do what they can to keep themselves and others safe while driving.  For example, even though wearing seatbelts reduces the risk of death or serious injury by roughly 50%, 1 in 7 people still do not wear seatbelts when driving.  The major causes of death resulting from auto accidents all involve behaviors that are preventable: alcohol, reckless driving, and speeding.

Even though people are twenty-three times more likely to have an accident when texting and driving, one out of three people still text when driving.   In 2012, over four hundred thousand people were injured in the United States due to distracted driving.  In that same year, over one hundred and seventy billion text messages were sent in the U.S.  (sources: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/dsDistractedDriving and http://www.distraction.gov/  Alarmingly, it takes approximately five seconds to send or receive a text message, during which time an entire football field could have been crossed (source: http://www.driverknowledge.com/car-accident-statistics//).

Read the full published article at Psychology Today.