Social Adjustment Profiles of Fatally Injured Drivers: A Replication and Extension

John W. Shaffer, Wayne Towns, Chester W. Schmidt, Russel S. Fisher, Howard I. Zlotowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-511
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of general psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1974

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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