'Fear of flying' post 9/11 terrorist attacks led to more traffic-related road accidents in US: Study

ANI

Washington, Sep 12 (ANI): In the wake of the terrorist attacks that took place on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, most Americans resorted to driving due to a fear of flying, losing their lives in traffic accidents. A new study by Wolfgang Gaissmaier and Gerd Gigerenzer from the Harding Center for Risk Literacy at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin revealed how the 9/11 terrorist-attacks resulted in more traffic-related accidents in the US. The researchers claimed that the fear of terrorist attacks could alter a person's everyday behaviour and result in more fatal traffic accidents. "Our study findings support the assumption that the fear created by terrorist attacks can cause potentially risky behaviour. But they also make it clear that fear alone is not enough to understand where indirect damage can occur in the wake fatal events like those of 9/11," Gaissmaier said. "To predict where the indirect damage of terrorist attacks can have particularly fatal consequences, and to possibly curb a secondary, psychological attack, we must pay very close attention to the general conditions that first make it possible for risky, fear-induced behaviours to express themselves, such as the respective infrastructure," he added. According to the study, in the twelve months following September 11, 2001, there were an estimated 1,600 more accident-related deaths on American roads than would have been expected statistically. The researchers also showed that car traffic increased particularly in the New York vicinity, where the main attacks were focused on WTC, thus also highlighting the 'fear' of the people who lived in the surrounding area. (ANI)