Who by accident? the social morphology of car accidents

Roni Factor*, Gad Yair, David Mahalel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1411-1423
Number of pages13
JournalRisk Analysis
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Health
  • multiple correspondence analysis
  • risk
  • road accidents
  • social class


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