M. H. Cale’, E. Shake’d
The purpose of this study was to analyse the effects of experiencing fear due to threatening terror attacks on road accident occurrences, fatalities and injuries. This was done by comparing the official Israeli data base of road accidents with the one listing all terror attacks in the country between January 2001 and June 2004. The results show that during periods of high fear due to severe terror attacks, there are generally fewer road accidents and that these accidents tend to be less severe. A clear picture of negative correlations (explaining between 9 and 25 percent of the variance) between citizens hurt or killed in terror attacks and road accidents was found for the first year of the Intifada. A chronic fear reaction without obvious direct correlations between incidents was found for 2002 and 2003 whilst high, positive correlations (explaining between 32 and 67 percent of the variance) were found for the first half of 2004, a period most Israelis considered to be post-Intifada. The results are discussed as predicted by and supporting Wilde’s theory of target risk. Recommendations for accident reduction interventions are proposed.
Keywords: fear; terror attacks; road accidents; target risk