Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health.
Who by Accident? The Social Morphology of Car Accidents
Article first published online: 20 MAY 2010
© 2010 Society for Risk Analysis
Volume 30, Issue 9, pages 1411–1423, September 2010
How to Cite
Factor, R., Yair, G. and Mahalel, D. (2010), Who by Accident? The Social Morphology of Car Accidents. Risk Analysis, 30: 1411–1423. doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2010.01423.x
- Issue published online: 14 SEP 2010
- Article first published online: 20 MAY 2010
- multiple correspondence analysis;
- road accidents;
- social class
Prior studies in the sociology of accidents have shown that different social groups have different rates of accident involvement. This study extends those studies by implementing Bourdieu's relational perspective of social space to systematically explore the homology between drivers’ social characteristics and their involvement in specific types of motor vehicle accident. Using a large database that merges official Israeli road-accident records with socioeconomic data from two censuses, this research maps the social order of road accidents through multiple correspondence analysis. Extending prior studies, the results show that different social groups indeed tend to be involved in motor vehicle accidents of different types and severity. For example, we find that drivers from low socioeconomic backgrounds are overinvolved in severe accidents with fatal outcomes. The new findings reported here shed light on the social regularity of road accidents and expose new facets in the social organization of death.