Flog > An epidemic of crashes
Posted October 10th, 2011 at 08:01:18 pm by Mitch Flynn
The book cites a UCSD sociologist, David Phillips, who did a study on motor vehicle fatalities. He found that when stories hit the media about vehicular suicides, the result was an increase in single-car crashes where the victim was the driver. Further, stories about young people involved in similar fatalities resulted in more of the same involving young people; stories about older people resulted in more traffic fatalities involving older people. Phillips concluded that a select few who "set the example" (whether intentionally or not) essentially gave permission, whether perceived consciously or unconsciously, to others who imitated the original act.
Would this epidemic have had the fuel to keep burning if it weren't for the fact that the media identified it as a trend, and in doing so, perhaps gave it a life of its own? An epidemic life? What do you think?