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Suicide by crashing into a heavy vehicle: Focus on professional drivers using in-depth crash data
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. University of Helsinki, Finland.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2932-2383
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2019 (English)In: Traffic Injury Prevention, ISSN 1538-9588, E-ISSN 1538-957X, Vol. 20, no 6, p. 575-580Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: Road traffic suicides typically involve a passenger car driver crashing his or her vehicle into a heavy vehicle, because death is almost certain due to the large mass difference between these vehicles. For the same reason, heavy-vehicle drivers typically suffer minor injuries, if any, and have thus received little attention in the research literature. In this study, we focused on heavy-vehicle drivers who were involved as the second party in road suicides in Finland.

Methods: We analyzed 138 road suicides (2011-2016) involving a passenger car crashing into a heavy vehicle. We used in-depth road crash investigation data from the Finnish Crash Data Institute.

Results: The results showed that all but 2 crashes were head-on collisions. Almost 30% of truck drivers were injured, but only a few suffered serious injuries. More than a quarter reported sick leave following their crash. Injury insurance compensation to heavy-vehicle drivers was just above euro9,000 on average. Material damage to heavy vehicles was significant, with average insurance compensation paid being euro70,500. Three out of 4 truck drivers reported that drivers committing suicide acted abruptly and left them little opportunity for preventive action.

Conclusions: Suicides by crashing into heavy vehicles can have an impact on drivers' well-being; however, it is difficult to see how heavy-vehicle drivers could avoid a suicide attempt involving their vehicle.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 20, no 6, p. 575-580
Keywords [en]
Heavy vehicle drivers, motor vehicle crashes, violent suicide, driver suicide, self-destruction
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-171650DOI: 10.1080/15389588.2019.1633466ISI: 000477155100001PubMedID: 31329464OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-171650DiVA, id: diva2:1344722
Available from: 2019-08-21 Created: 2019-08-21 Last updated: 2019-12-10Bibliographically approved

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Radun, IgorRadun, JenniKecklund, GöranOlivier, JakeTheorell, Töres
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