Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 346–365 | Cite as

Personality characteristics of the accident involved employee

  • Curtiss P. Hansen

Abstract

The research relating personality traits to industrial and traffic accidents is reviewed. The research from the past 15 years is integrated with the multitude of studies preceding this period. All of the research is interpreted in terms of the “differential accident liability” concept, rather than the discredited “accident proneness” theory. The need to control for the confounding effects of age, experience, sex, and accident risk is discussed. It is concluded that the personality traits of extroversion, locus of control, impulsivity, aggression, social maladjustment, and some aspects of neurosis are related to the occurrence of accidents. Finally, the need to develop causal models of the personality-accident process and to identify causal influences through time series designs is proposed.

References

  1. Alexander, C. (1953). Psychological tests for drivers at the McClean Trucking Company.Traffic Quarterly, 7, 186–197.Google Scholar
  2. Andersson, A. L., Nilsson, A., & Henriksson, N. (1970). Personality differences between accident-loaded and accident-free young car drivers.British Journal of Psychology, 61, 409–421.Google Scholar
  3. Arbous, A. G., & Kerrich, J. E. (1951). Accident statistics and the concept of accident proneness.Biometrics, 7, 340–432.Google Scholar
  4. Balken, P. (1969). Extroversion-introversion and decrement in an auditory-vigilance task. InVigilance: A Symposium, D. N. Bucker & I. I. McGrath (Eds.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  5. Barlow, D. H. (1985).Clinical Handbook of Psychological Disorders. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  6. Barmack, E., & Payne, D. E. (1961). The Lackland accident countermeasure experiment.Highway Research Board Proceedings, 40, 513–522.Google Scholar
  7. Barthe, A. (1967).The Study of a Group of Accident Repeaters. (CIS Card 784). Geneva: International Labour Office.Google Scholar
  8. Biesheuvel, S., & White, M. E. (1949). The human factor in flying accidents.South African Air Force Journal, 1, 25–36.Google Scholar
  9. Bridge, R. G. (1971).Internal-external control and seat-belt use. Paper presented at the meeting of the Western Psychological Association, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  10. Cameron, N. (1963).Personality Development and Psychopathology. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.Google Scholar
  11. Chambers, E. G. (1939). A preliminary inquiry into the part played by character and temperament in accidents.British Journal of Psychiatry, 85, 115–118.Google Scholar
  12. Cleland, E. A., Robinson, C. D., & Simon, J. G. (1971).Personality and social variables in unsafe driving. Paper presented at the 6th Annual Conference of the Australian Psychological Society, Melbourne, Australia.Google Scholar
  13. Clement, R., & Jonah, B. A. (1984). Field dependency, sensation seeking, and driving behavior.Personality and Individual Differences, 5, 87–93.Google Scholar
  14. Cohen, J., Dearnaley, E. J., & Hansel, C. E. M. (1956). Risk and hazard.Opinion Research Quarterly, 73, 67–82.Google Scholar
  15. Conger, J. J., Gaskill, H. S., Glad, D. D., Rainey, R. V., Sawrey, W. L., & Hassell, L. (1955). Psychological and psychophysical factors in motor vehicle accidents.Journal of the American Medical Association, 169, 1581–1587.Google Scholar
  16. Conger, J. J., Gaskill, H. S., Glad, D. D., Rainey, R. V., Sawrey, W. L., & Turrell, E. S. (1957). Personal and interpersonal factors in motor vehicle accidents.American Journal of Psychiatry, 113, 1069–1074.Google Scholar
  17. Cotter, D. M. (1986). Work-related deaths in 1984: BLS survey findings.Monthly Labor Review, 109, 42–45.Google Scholar
  18. Craske, S. (1968). A study of the relation between personality and accident history.British Journal of Medical Psychology, 41, 399–404.Google Scholar
  19. Dahlhauser, M. (1982). Visual disembedding and locus of control as variables associated with college football injuries.Dissertation Abstracts International, 42, 4985A.Google Scholar
  20. Davids, A., & Mahoney, J. T. (1957). Personality dynamics and accident proneness in an industrial setting.Journal of Applied Psychology, 41, 303–309.Google Scholar
  21. Denning, D. L. (1983).Correlates of employee safety performance. Paper presented at the Southeastern I/O Psychology Association Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia.Google Scholar
  22. Denton, K. (1982).Safety Management: Improving Performance. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  23. Evans, L., & Wasielewski, P. (1982). Do accident involved drivers exhibit riskier everyday driving behaviors?Accident Analysis and Prevention, 14, 57–64.Google Scholar
  24. Eysenck, H. J. (1947).Dimensions of Personality. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  25. Eysenck, H. J. (1962). The personality of drivers and pedestrians.Medicine, Science, and the Law, 3, 416–423.Google Scholar
  26. Eysenck, H. J. (1965).Fact and Fiction in Psychology. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin.Google Scholar
  27. Eysenck, H. J. (1970).The Structure of Human Personality (3rd Ed.). London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  28. Farmer, E., & Chambers, E. G. (1926).A psychological study of individual differences in accident rates (Tech Rep. No. 38). British Industrial Fatigue Research Board.Google Scholar
  29. Feaicht, B. (1972. Statistical and clinical studies on accident proneness. In A. R. Hale & M. Hale,A Review of the Industrial Accident Literature. London: Her Majesty's Stationary Office.Google Scholar
  30. Fernandez, J. L. S. (1978). Psychology of the automobile driver: Personality factors of drivers with multiple accidents.Revista De Psicologia General Y Aplicada, 33, 217–228.Google Scholar
  31. Fine, B. J. (1963). Introversion-extroversion and motor vehicle driver behavior.Perceptual and Motor Skills, 16, 95–100.Google Scholar
  32. Goldstein, L. G. (1964). Human variables in traffic accidents: A digest of research.Traffic Safety Research Review, 8, 26–31.Google Scholar
  33. Goldstein, L. G., & Mosel, J. N. (1958). A factor study of driver's attitudes with further study on driver aggression.Highway Research Board Bulletin, 172, 9–29.Google Scholar
  34. Haddon, W., Suchman, E. A., & Klein, D. (Eds.) (1964).Accident Proneness. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  35. Hakkinen, S. (1958).Traffic accidents and driver characteristics: a statistical and psychological study (Tech. Rep. No. 13). Helsinki: Finland Institute of Technology, Scientific Research.Google Scholar
  36. Hale, A. R., & Hale, M. (1972).A Review of the Industrial Accident Literature. London: Her Majesty's Stationary Office.Google Scholar
  37. Hansen, C. P. (1986).A Causal Model of the Relationship Between Accidents, Biodata. Personality, and Cognitive Factors Using LISREL VI. Unpublished doctoral dissertation.Google Scholar
  38. Hoyt, M. F. (1973). Internal-external control and beliefs about automobile travel.Journal of Research in Personality, 7, 288–293.Google Scholar
  39. Janzen, J. M. (1983). A study of the relationship of locus of control, age, and work experience variables used to discriminate individuals susceptible to industrial accidents in the saw mill industry.Dissertation Abstracts International, 44, 438A.Google Scholar
  40. Jimenez, P. O. (1977). Aggressiveness as a cause of accidents.Revista De Psicologia Genral Y Aplicada, 32, 573–579.Google Scholar
  41. Jonah, B. A. (1986). Accident risk and risk taking behavior among young drivers.Accident Analysis and Prevention, 18, 255–271.Google Scholar
  42. Jones, J. W. (1984).The Safety Locus of Control Scale. St. Paul, MN: The St. Paul Companies.Google Scholar
  43. Jones, J. W., & Forman, R. J. (1984).Relationship of the HFPSI safety scale scores to motor vehicle reports. Technical Report. The St. Paul Companies, St. Paul, MN.Google Scholar
  44. Jones, J. W., & Wuebker, L. J. (1984).The HFPSI scores of a fatally injured construction worker. Research paper presented at the Fourth Annual Construction Insurance Conference, The Westin Hotel, Galleria, Dallas, TX, November 13–16.Google Scholar
  45. Jones, J. W., & Wuebker, L. (1985a). Development and validation of the Safety Locus of Control (SLC) Scale.Perceptual and Motor Skills, 61, 151–161.Google Scholar
  46. Jones, J. W., & Wuebker, L. J. (1985b).Psychometric properties of the Safety Locus of Control Scale. Paper presented at the 27th Annual Conference of the Military Testing Association, San Diego, CA, October 21–25.Google Scholar
  47. Kaestner, N. F. (1964). The similarity of traffic involvement records of young drivers and drivers in fatal accidents.Traffic Safety Research Review, 8, 34–39.Google Scholar
  48. Kainuma, Y. (1965). Studies on the personal characteristics of motor vehicle accident repeaters in Japan.Traffic Safety Report, 1, 35–46.Google Scholar
  49. Keehn, J. D. (1961). Accident tendency, avoidance learning, and perceptual defense.Australian Journal of Psychology, 13, 157–169.Google Scholar
  50. Kunce, J. T., & Reeder, C. W. (1974). SVIB scores and accident proneness.Measurement and Evaluation in Guidance, 7, 118–121.Google Scholar
  51. Kunce, J. T., & Worley, B. (1966). Interest patterns, accidents, and disability.Journal of Clinical Psychology, 22, 195–207.Google Scholar
  52. Kunda, S. R. (1957). A psychological study of accidents in a factory.Education Psychology, 4, 17–28.Google Scholar
  53. Landy, F. J., & Trumbo, D. A. (1980).Psychology of Work Behavior (Rev. Ed.). Homewood, Ill.: Dorsey Press.Google Scholar
  54. MacKay, G. M., DeFonseka, C. P., Blair, I., & Clayton, A. B. (1969).Causes and Effects of Road Accidents. Department of Transportation, University of Birmingham.Google Scholar
  55. Mayer, R. E., & Treat, J. R. (1977). Psychological, social, and cognitive characteristics of high-risk drivers: A pilot study.Accident Analysis and Prevention, 9, 1–8.Google Scholar
  56. McFarland, R. A. (1957). Psychological and psychiatric aspects of highway safety.Journal of the American Medical Association, 163, 233–237.Google Scholar
  57. McFarland, R. A., & Moseley, L. A. (1954).Human Factors in Highway Transport. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard School of Public Health.Google Scholar
  58. McGuire, F. L. (1956a). Rosenweig Picture Frustration study for selecting safe drivers.USAF Medical Journal, 7, 200–207.Google Scholar
  59. McGuire, F. L. (1956b). Psychological comparison of automobile drivers.USAF Medical Journal, 7, 1741–1748.Google Scholar
  60. McGuire, F. L. (1961).The McGuire Safe Driver Scale. Beverly Hills, CA: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  61. McGuire, F. L. (1972). The understanding and prediction of accident producing behavior.North Carolina Symposium On Highway Safety, 1, 116–118.Google Scholar
  62. McGuire, F. L. (1976). Personality factors in highway accidents.Human Factors, 18, 433–442.Google Scholar
  63. McKenna, F. P. (1983). Accident proneness: A conceptual analysis.Accident Analysis and Prevention, 15, 65–71.Google Scholar
  64. Mintz, A., & Blum, M. L. (1949). A reexamination of the accident proneness concept.Journal of Applied Psychology, 33, 195–211.Google Scholar
  65. Morris, L. W. (1979).Extroversion and introversion: An Interactional Perspective. New York: Halsted Press.Google Scholar
  66. Mozdzierz, G. J., Macchitelli, F. J., Planek, T. W., & Lottman, T. J. (1975). Personality and temperament differences between alcoholics with high and low records of traffic accidents and violations.Journal of Studies On Alcohol, 36, 395–399.Google Scholar
  67. National Safety Council. (1983).Accident Facts 1983 Edition. Chicago, IL: National Safety Council.Google Scholar
  68. Norali-Daninos, A., Aubrey, J., & Cerf, F. (1961). Psychosomatics and trauma. In N. Aboulker, P. Chertok, & J. Sapir,Psychology of Accidents. Paris.Google Scholar
  69. Paffenbarger, R. S., King, S. H., & Wing, A. L. (1969). Chronic disease in former college students: Characteristics in youth that predispose to suicide and accidental death in later life.American Journal of Public Health, 59, 900–908.Google Scholar
  70. Pannain, B., Correra, M., Starace, A., & D'Alessio, G. (1983). Victimological aspects of involuntary crimes, with particular reference to road accidents and Italian law.Victimology: An International Journal, 8, 53–67.Google Scholar
  71. Pandey, R. P., Kishore, G. S., & Jha, S. (1981). Some attitudinal correlates of traffic accidents.Asian Journal of Psychology and Education, 7, 44–48.Google Scholar
  72. Pestonjee, D. M., & Singh, U. B. (1980). Neuroticism-extroversion as correlates of accident occurrence.Accident Analysis and Prevention, 12, 201–204.Google Scholar
  73. Powell, P. I., Hale, M., Martin, J., & Simon, M. (1971).2,000 Accidents. London: National Institute of Industrial Psychology.Google Scholar
  74. Rapaport, D., & Schafer, R. (1968).Diagnostic Psychological Testing (2nd Ed.). New York: International University Press.Google Scholar
  75. Risser, R. (1985). Behavior in Traffic Conflict Situations.Accident Analysis and Prevention, 17, 179–197.Google Scholar
  76. Rivera Frutos, O. (1983). Causes of accident propensity.Boletin de Psicologia, 6, 16–24.Google Scholar
  77. Rockwell, T. H. (1967). Some exploratory research on risk acceptance in man/machine settings.Journal of the American Society of Safety Engineers, 13, 6–19.Google Scholar
  78. Rommel, R. C. S. (1959). Personality characteristics and attitudes of youthful accident repeating drivers.Traffic Safety Research Review, 3, 13–14.Google Scholar
  79. Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement.Psychological Monographs,80 (1, Whole No. 609).Google Scholar
  80. Sampson, A. A. (1971). The myth of accident proneness.The Medical Journal of Australia, 2, 913–916.Google Scholar
  81. Sarmany, I. (1975). Traumatic affinity and some personality traits.Psychologie V Ekonomicke Praxi, 10, 155–160.Google Scholar
  82. Schenk, J., & Rausche, A. (1979). The personality of accident-prone drivers.Psychologie Und Praxis, 23, 179–186.Google Scholar
  83. Schulzinger, M. S. (1954). Accident proneness.Industrial Medicine and Surgery, 6, 151–152.Google Scholar
  84. Schuman, S. H., Pelz, D. C., Ehrlich, N. J., & Selzer, M. L. (1967). Young male drivers: Impulse expression, accidents and violations.Journal of the American Medical Association, 200, 1026–1030.Google Scholar
  85. Schwenk, L. C. (1967). Personality correlates of accident involvement among young male drivers.Dissertation Abstracts International, 27, 3734A.Google Scholar
  86. Selling, L. S. (1945). Psychiatry in industrial accidents.Advanced Management, 10 Google Scholar
  87. Selzer, M. L., Rogers, J. E., & Kern, S. (1968). Fatal accidents: The role of psychopathology, social stress, and acute disturbance.American Journal of Psychiatry, 124, 8–19.Google Scholar
  88. Selzer, M. L., & Vinokur, A. (1974). Life events, subjective stress, and traffic accidents.American Journal of Psychiatry, 131, 903–906.Google Scholar
  89. Shaffer, J. W., Towns, W., Schmidt, C. W., Fisher, R. S., & Zlotowitz, H. J. (1974). Social adjustment file of fatally injured drivers: A replication and extension.Archives of General Psychiatry, 30, 508–511.Google Scholar
  90. Shaw, L. (1965). The practical use of protective personality tests as accident predictors.Traffic Safety Research Review, 9, 34–72.Google Scholar
  91. Shaw, L., & Sichel, H. S. (1961). The reduction of traffic accidents in a transport company by the determination of the accident liability of individual drivers.Traffic Safety Research Review, 5, 2–12.Google Scholar
  92. Shaw, L., & Sichel, H. S. (1971).Accident Proneness. Oxford: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  93. Sims, M. T., Graves, R. J., & Simpson, G. C. (1984). Mineworkers' scores for the Rotter Internal-External Locus of Control Scale.Journal of Occupational Psychology, 57, 327–329.Google Scholar
  94. Smart, R. G., & Schmidt, W. S. (1960). Psychosomatic disorders and traffic accidents.Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 6, 38–42.Google Scholar
  95. Smiley, J. A. (1955). A clinical study of group of accident prone workers.British Journal of Industrial Medicine, 12, 263–267.Google Scholar
  96. Smith, D. I., & Kirkham, R. W. (1981). Relationship between some personality characteristics and driving record.British Journal of Social Psychology, 20, 229–231.Google Scholar
  97. Stewart, R. G. (1958). Can psychologists measure driving attitudes?Educational and Psychological Measurement, 13, 63–73.Google Scholar
  98. Suchman, E. A. (1965). Cultural and social factors in accident occurrences and control.Journal of Occupational Medicine, 7, 487–492.Google Scholar
  99. Suchman, E. A. (1970). Accidents and social deviance.Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 11, 4–15.Google Scholar
  100. Tiffin, J., & McCormick, E. J. (1962).Industrial Psychology. London: George Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  101. Tillman, W. A., & Hobbs, G. R. (1949). The accident-prone automobile driver: A study of the psychiatric and social background.American Journal of Psychiatry, 106, 321–331.Google Scholar
  102. Vernon, H. M. (1918).An investigation of the factors concerned with the causation of industrial accidents. Health of Munitions Workers Committee, Memo No. 21.Google Scholar
  103. Viney, L. (1971). Accident proneness: Some psychological research.The Medical Journal of Australia, 2, 916–918.Google Scholar
  104. Wellman, R. J. (1982). Accident proneness in police officers: Personality factors and problem drinking as predictors of injury claims of state troopers.Dissertation Abstracts International, 43, 538B.Google Scholar
  105. Whitlock, G. H., Clouse, R. J., & Spencer, W. F. (1963). Predicting accident proneness.Personnel Psychology, 16, 33–34.Google Scholar
  106. Wichman, H., & Ball, J. (1983). Locus of control, self-serving biases, and attitudes toward safety in general aviation pilots.Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 54, 507–510.Google Scholar
  107. Willett, T. C. (1964).Criminal On The Road. London: Tavistock Publishers.Google Scholar
  108. Wilson, A. W. (1980). Reported accidental injuries in a metropolitan police department.Dissertation Abstracts International, 41, 1936B.Google Scholar
  109. Wong, W. A., & Hobbs, G. E. (1949). Personal factors in industrial accidents.Industrial Medicine and Surgery, 18, 291–294.Google Scholar
  110. Wuebker, L. J., Jones, J. W., & Dubois, D. (1985).Safety locus of control and employee accidents. Technical Report: The St. Paul Companies, St. Paul, MN.Google Scholar
  111. Yanowitch, R. E., Mohler, S. R., & Nichols, E. A. (1972). Psychosocial reconstruction inventory: A postdictal instrument in aircraft accident investigation.Aerospace Medicine, 43, 551–554.Google Scholar
  112. Zelhart, P. F. (1972). Types of alcoholics and their relationship to traffic violations.Quarterly Journal of Studies On Alcoholism, 33, 811–813.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Curtiss P. Hansen
    • 1
  1. 1.Humber, Mundie & McClaryUSA

Personalised recommendations