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  • 1.
    Radun, Igor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. University of Helsinki, Finland.
    Parkkari, Inkeri
    Radun, Jenni
    Kaistinen, Jyrki
    Kecklund, Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Olivier, Jake
    Tervo, Timo
    Theorell, Töres
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Suicide by crashing into a heavy vehicle: Focus on professional drivers using in-depth crash data2019In: Traffic Injury Prevention, ISSN 1538-9588, E-ISSN 1538-957X, Vol. 20, no 6, p. 575-580Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 2.
    Radun, Igor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. University of Helsinki, Finland.
    Radun, Jenni
    Kaistinen, Jyrki
    Olivier, Jake
    Parkkari, Inkeri
    Kecklund, Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Theorell, Töres
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Suicide by crashing into a heavy vehicle: Professional drivers' views2019In: Traffic Injury Prevention, ISSN 1538-9588, E-ISSN 1538-957X, Vol. 20, no 8, p. 826-831Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 3.
    Radun, Igor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. University of Helsinki, Finland.
    Watling, Hanna
    Radun, Jenni
    Kaistinen, Jyrki
    Olivier, Jake
    Women judging: Is a young male drunk driver perceived as more negligent than a young female drunk driver?2018In: Traffic Injury Prevention, ISSN 1538-9588, E-ISSN 1538-957X, Vol. 19, no 7, p. 675-679Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: It is well established that young men are the riskiest group of all drivers, and men in general more often drive under the influence of alcohol. However, potentially oversimplified representations such as a young male problem and drunk driving as a male problem can influence action and reinforce existing attitudes by selectively directing attention to stereotypically consistent behavior. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis of possible bias toward young male drivers in the context of drunk driving.Methods: We have created a scenario study investigating whether the sex of an imaginary young drunk driver would be associated with a different perceived negligence (ranging from 0=not negligent at all to 10=extremely negligent) among our participants. These participants were a representative sample of Finnish female driver's license holders. The data for the study were gathered as part of a larger survey study on women's drinking and driving culture.Results: Perceptions of how negligent a person was depended on the age of the respondents such that the older the respondent, the higher the perceived negligence. Perceived negligence was similar for male and female drivers in the scenario; however, there was an interaction effect between driver sex and the age of respondents. The youngest (20-29 years) and 2 oldest (50-69 years) groups of our respondents found the young woman to be more negligent, whereas the opposite occurred for the other 2 groups.Conclusions: The results of our imaginary scenario study of a representative sample of Finnish female driver's license holders do not support a hypothesis that there would be a negative bias toward young male drivers in the context of drunk driving behavior.

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