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Suicide by crashing into a heavy vehicle: Professional drivers' views
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 8, p. 826-831Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: Every profession has its own safety and health risks. In addition to the risk of being involved in a normal road crash, professional heavy vehicle drivers are at risk of becoming victims of people attempting suicide by crashing into their vehicles. Road suicides are not that rare, at least not in Finland, where they represent about 12% of all fatal road crashes. The purpose of this study was to survey professional heavy vehicle drivers about their experiences, views and opinions regarding road suicides.

Methods: The sample included heavy vehicle drivers (N = 863) randomly recruited from a transport workers' union.

Results: About 18% of the respondents reported a suspected suicide attempt of a motor vehicle driver crashing into their vehicle, with 15% of these (i.e.2.8% of the whole sample) also reporting a resulting crash. More than half of the respondents reported personally knowing another professional driver who had experienced a crash caused by a suicidal driver. Almost 80% of the drivers reported being afraid that someone would attempt suicide by crashing into their vehicle; however, thinking about such a possibility produces a level of anxiety in less than half of all respondents. Most respondents agreed about the challenges of avoiding a crash if somebody deliberately drives their car towards their vehicle.

Conclusion: Heavy vehicle drivers perceive road suicides as an occupational risk in their profession. We discuss possible preventive measures against suicide attempts by crashing into a heavy vehicle.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 20, no 8, p. 826-831
Keywords [en]
Violent suicide, driver suicide, self-destruction, motor-vehicle crashes, survey, heavy vehicles or trucks
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-176616DOI: 10.1080/15389588.2019.1679796ISI: 000497026400001PubMedID: 31738579OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-176616DiVA, id: diva2:1381928
Available from: 2019-12-30 Created: 2019-12-30 Last updated: 2020-01-20Bibliographically approved

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Radun, IgorRadun, JenniKaistinen, JyrkiOlivier, JakeKecklund, GöranTheorell, Töres
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