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View Sample Pages : Arizona Independent Republic, May 19, 1940

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Arizona Independent Republic (Newspaper) - May 19, 1940, Phoenix, Arizona yjf A ARIZONA Arizona Phoenix k May 1940 J REPUBLIC Common Roadhog Physically Defective By EMILY DAVIS THE American countryside is The American coun tryside is But the American countryside is cursed with the driver that inspired jingle The trouble with an automobile Is the Nut that holds the steering Not And not true of you and we But theres lar more to the jingle than says Lowell Detroit physi cian and who is currently etiKacod in turning the searchlight on Hie problem of Whats Wrong With thr American Selling has met on an advisory noting such characters as the woman driver who hogs the middle of the He has studied the super cautious 1he person who moves around town with a chorus of tooting horns Convers ing with these and with many anoth er type of driver who bumped into question ing putting tests to he has gained an in sight into what goes on inside the heads of problem adults of the driv ing Hundreds of these problem person alities have walked through the door pf the Psychopathic Clinic maintained fcy the Recorders Court in They just as still more are com because they got into traffic acci ornts or infringed serious and the court referred them to the The clinic helps them to drive more if it If it may have to report plainly that they Bre not the sort of individuals to drive a car for public Since when Selling became clinic there has been a spe csl traffic unit in this clinic to con centrate on problem The clin ics interest in bad driving goes back some years but now it spe Peculiar attitudes get a good many drivers into the clinics experi ence So do unstable This in itself will be no news to the average His loudest growls arc over the unreasonable and self centered behavior of fellow drivers they block cut in in from of his fenders with no Selling and otherwise act as though their emotions were ruling their Every motorist knows plenty about peculiar attitudes of But prob ing these traits is something else and it is still pioneer work in traffic REPORTING some facts learned about these abnormal altitudes in The Journal of Criminal Psychopa Selling gives an idea of what ails some It may come as a shock to find road hogs and timid drivers in a journal with such a but there they To start with the the psy chiatrist has unearthed the reason why some of them insist on driving in the middle of the They have meaning in plain Eng fear of being shut Claustro phobia makes them shun the right hand and so they bear left and into the open even roaming across the center white or fear of open might cause the opposite type of driv but if either sex goes in for hug ging the righthand Selling has not reported Women are not the only ones who hog the middle of the as any woman driver would quickly rise to But women are more apt to suffer from claustrophobia than Selling Many psy chiatric clinics in the United States have reported that women are more frequently Claustro phobia may not explain all cases of centerroad but it clears up some of the more mysterious and irra tionalseeming There is no sex trait of eyesight or strength that would explain womens avoiding a righthand Selling Women are not prone to a weak right the majority just as the majority of men You may have suspected but you now have a psychiatrists word that there are drivers who hate one and and who reject all traffic This trait the psychiatrist pins on the male What causes a driver to become a lone defiant of law and is traced by exploring the traffic offen ders attitudes and In tests at the the driver is told to cross out which bring to light his deepgrained likes and With these and other tests and a completely antisocial type of indi vidual now and again reveals What starts this driver on his abnormal course The clinic wants to Friction with a traf fic policeman is often the Selling has From an held in the drivers mind as a griev the driver very foolishly indulges in dislike of all the traffic all the He drives from his mind the fact that traffic laws and police are funda mentally for DV exploring the clinic sometimes finds taat the anti social driver was antisocial before he began driving at In some cases it began when the clinics traffic patient was a Friction at home caused the youngster to reject his fathers au when he drove a it was easy to transfer his old habitual defiance of his father to the traffic A general and wholesale antisocial attitude was revealed in 10 of the traf fic offenders who found their way to the Mostly young men 17 to 25 years these drivers would rush through red lights and speed for no reason except that they were egocen trkally Some of them had been members of juvenile and law defiance was for them an old The supercautious driver who ob structs traffic may mean But or is another whose attitude is While the slow car plods its careful drivers piling up behind grow reckless and weave out of line to take narrow Snail like the lone wolves and the road have joined the trail leading into De troits traffic There are many kinds of problem These are just sample One other that might be mentioned is the superaggressive who tries to make up in his driving for social and career In each of these drivers the clinic brought to light some impulsiveness or some judgment defect or bad Re sult the individual behaves as he should not when he gets into a situa tion which the majority of drivers meet in relatively normal Selling says PERSONALITY is an important and still neglected cause of traf fic it appears from the De troit clinics case Motorists who grumble at the other fellows un reasonable behavior behind the wheel may really have reason to lose their cheery There is a good deal of eccentric And here is a striking which the clinic has A good deal driving is done by people with good eyesight and their fair share of and by persons driving cars in good There is a popular notion that if a driver can see possible trouble ahead and can move fast he can avoid almost any Selling does not Not many of the traffic offenders who come to his clinic have poor enough sight to get into difficulty on that And he has paint ed not all types of defective sight are driving He knows oneeyed drivers for who compensate by mirrors that pro vide wider vision and who success fully avoid accidents because they are skillful and Not many people can blame eyesight for failure in judging speed or dis he has also Most drivers who have serious difficulty judging speed and distance have some organic in the clinics Nor is reaction time so important as people sometimes The nor mal man driver when tested responds to a signal in about half a The normal woman takes a split second hundredths of a second to be Only among some and among drivers suf fering from serious is an cident clinic likely to find abnormally slow reaction As for defective automobiles and bad road Selling does not think that they are so often to blame for accidents as they sometimes Automobiles properly handled safe he once and the car all are But they do not add near enough to 100 in safe judging by the thousands of acci dents that are chalked even where cars are periodically tested and where candidates for driving permits are put through Something significant is still And Selling thinks it is the more elusive and emotional factors in a drivers These are hard to It is harder still to devise tests of these factors for accident Drivers fall into several distinct classes from the psychologists point of view and the woman driver is by no means the But he believes that it should be at Looking Selling foresees personality to detect drivers headed for serious But that is far in the Such tests used in routine manner would have to be far more easily given and easily interpret ed than the present patient testing of drivers who come to an accident What happens when feebleminded and mentally diseased individuals take the drivers wheel is being in the Detroit clinics Some of the findings are not what the aver age person might Feebleminded the clinic re are not necessarily prone to break traffic laws or get into Selling emphasizes the word nec He does not agree with some that drivers of low intelli gence should be one and orl the Some people not at all bright are supporting a and getting along very Such a person may be as safe at the wheel as the person of high curious fact about dullminded drivers is that some are adept at driving a slowmoving truck but not manage a pleasure car with The pleasure car requires a more live ly type of and the change from truck driving on week days to a light car on Sundays is too difficult for the clinic One feeblemind ed man drove a street sweeper ten years without getting into traffic trou He bought a pleasure car and got tangled in three includ ing one in which he failed to stop for a red light and crashed another the clinic decides that a driver of this sort may drive for busi but not for alcoholism is still another of 38 abnormal mental states that have figured in the clinics The chronic alcoholic goes in for im pulsive In explaining acci frequently this type of driver cannot tell how a crash Gen erally he thinks the other fellow must have been to What really hap the clinics physician is that the hand of the driver did not and his eyes could not fol low the car At Selling admits that he has never had a chance to observe individual traffic offender for a long enough time and under sufficient ly varied conditions to get a full and accurate scientific That ex plains what he means when he says he is pioneering in a new field of clinic investigation which he psychology of a study which is attracting wide nnd in II S A ;