Unconscious causes of accidents

The psycological causes of accidents can be summed up as: extroversion, fantasy, rationalisation, regression, projection of isolation, symbolisation, displacement substitution and feelings of inferiority. Don't know what those mean? Keep reading and we'll explain.

The Unconscious Causes of Vehicle Accidents

Extroversion. Some people "drive like mad" in a hopeless attempt to escape inner conflicts. Reckless driving is an excellent example of unreflective action.

Fantasy. Daydreams of attaining an unassailable height of power often incorporate fantasies of driving or riding in a long, sleek automobile with limitless speed and power. The car rides easily over all obstacles and opposition, and there is no one powerful enough to bid the driver to stop. Confusing fantasy with fact, the poor driver steps on the accelerator and sometimes speeds to his death.

Rationalization. The poor driver invariably rationalizes the factors that led him into an accident. He was driving too fast, he asserts, not because he started for an appointment too late but because "he absolutely promised to be on time."

Regression. Almost every type of regressive, childish behavior can occur in a poor driver behind the wheel of a car where there is no one to say him nay. The infantile ego reasserts itself in Isolation the road insisting on the right of way, double parking, speeding all with an infant's complete disregard for the rights and presence of other people. This can be a fatal form of emotional infantilism.

Projection. The poor driver projects the blame for his accidents onto everything and everyone except himself. His accidents are always "the other fellow's fault," or they were caused by bad roads, poor visibility, faulty brakes, or any other driving condition for which the poor driver himself failed to make proper allowance

Isolation The driver who segregates and isolates his thinking and feeling into logic tight compartments is often the most dangerous and hopeless of the lot of poor drivers. He honestly cannot see that his demoniac conduct behind the wheel is completely at odds with his polite and often mild-mannered conduct in other situations. So he continues to charge pedestrians, speed up when another car tries to pass him, take chances in passing other cars, and otherwise gamble with death until he lands in the hospital or cemetery.

Syrnbolization. The false "sense of power" that this poor driver gets when he steps on the gas symbolizes the feeling of importance he would like to have but has failed to achieve in other areas of living. For him especially the car symbolizes the ego, and he shows off by reckless driving.

Substitution for displacements. In this class of poor drivers we sometimes find the introverted, over obedient child who was afraid to talk back to his parents, the henpecked husband, and the Mr. Milquetoast who doesn't dare speak up to his boss. He displaces his hidden feelings of resentment against them by madcap driving and a cavalier disregard for the rights of others. He weaves carelessly in and out of traffic lanes; he shows other cars his dust. After all, they can't talk back.

Inferiority feelings. Many a poor driver handles his car with an attitude of superiority that represents overcompensation of the wrong kind for feelings of inferiority and inadequacy. Driving makes him feel like the proverbial "Mister Big," and he shows it in many ways. He won't move over when other cars want to pass him; if they finally do succeed in passing, he immediately speeds up to overtake them and "get even."

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