Research Article| Volume 22, ISSUE 5, P365-368, September 1991

The effects of road traffic accidents on driving behaviour

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      Questionnaires about the effects of accidents on subsequent driving behaviour were sent to 869 people admitted consecutively to a general hospital as a result of involvement in road traffic accidents 4–6 years previously. There were 418 (48 per cent) replies, 67 per cent of delivered questionnaires. One-fifth of the motorcyclists had stopped using a motorcycle. Nearly one-half the motorcyclists and vehicle drivers reported that they now drove more slowly and that they were more cautious. A considerable proportion of replies described emotional distress, avoidance and limitation of activities. Lack of confidence in driving was common immediately after the accident. After 4–6 years, one-third of respondents reported that they still suffered specific anxiety about the place of the accident and about situations similar to the accident. Many people were anxious about being passengers. The findings have implications for road safety, for the recognition and management of a common, and often disabling, clinical problem, and for the assessment of disabilities in medical reports for compensation proceedings.
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