Biorhythms and Highway Crashes: Are They Related?

John W. Shaffer, Chester W. Schmidt, Howard I. Zlotowitz, Russell S. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Biorhythm, a theory that purports to identify periods of increased individual susceptibility to accident or misfortune on the basis of recurring biological cycles, is currently enjoying world-wide popularity. In view of the implications of such a theory for both public health and safety, the present study was undertaken as an empirical test of its validity. Using data from 205 carefully investigated highway crashes (135 fatal; 70 nonfatal) in which the drivers were clearly at fault, the authors computed specific points in drivers' biorhythm cycles at which the accidents occurred. The observed frequencies of accidents occurring during so-called critical and minus periods were then compared with the frequencies to be expected on a chance basis alone. The results provided no evidence for a relationship between purported biorhythm cycles and accident likelihood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of general psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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