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Accident-proneness, is the idea that some people have a greater predisposition than others to suffer accidents, such as car crashes and industrial injuries. It may be used as a reason to deny any insurance on such individuals.[1]

Early work

The early work on this subject dates back to 1919, in a study by Greenwood and Woods, who studied workers at a British munitions factory and found that accidents were unevenly distributed among workers, with a relatively small proportion of workers accounting for most of the accidents.[2] Further work on accident-proneness was carried out in the 1930s and 1940s.

Present study

The subject is still being studied actively. Research into accident-proneness is of great interest in safety engineering, where human factors such as pilot error, or errors by nuclear plant operators, can have massive effects on the reliability and safety of a system. One of the areas of most interest and more profound research is the Aeronautical area, where accidents have been reviewed from psychological and human factors, to mechanical and technical failures. There has been many conclusive studies, that present that human factor has great influence on the results of those occurrences.

Statistical evidence clearly demonstrates that different individuals can have different rates of accidents from one another; for example, young male drivers are the group at highest risk for being involved in car accidents. There also seems to be substantial variation in personal accident rates between individuals.

However, a number of studies have cast doubt on whether accident-proneness actually exists as a distinct, persistent and independently verifiable physiological or psychological syndrome. Although substantial research has been devoted to this subject, there still seems to be no conclusive evidence either for or against the existence of accident proneness in this sense.

The exact nature and causes of accident-proneness, assuming that it exists as a distinct entity, are unknown. Factors which have been considered as associated with accident-proneness have included absent-mindedness, clumsiness, carelessness, impulsivity, predisposition to risk-taking, and unconscious desires to create accidents as a way of achieving secondary gains. Broad studies on the speed and accuracy using a specially designed test sheet of finding a specific figure on various people as Japanese, Brazil born Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Filipinos, Thai and Central Americans with different educational backgrounds. The studies have revealed that educational background or study experience is the key factor of concentration capability. Screening new employees using this test gave drastic decrease of work accidents in several companies.[3]

See also

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