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Thread: Earthquake side effects: car wrecks from post-quake anxiety

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Post Earthquake side effects: car wrecks from post-quake anxiety

    Earthquakes cause car wrecks?

    Increased motor vehicle crashes following induced earthquakes in Oklahoma, USA
    Joan A. Casey, Holly Elser, Sidra Goldman-Mellor, Ralph Catalano (2/10/2019)

    Anxiety-inducing life events increase the risk of motor vehicle crashes. We test the hypothesis that earthquakes, known to increase anxiety in the population, also increase the incidence of motor vehicle crashes. Our study took place in Oklahoma, USA where wastewater injection resulted in increased induced seismicity between 2010 and 2016. We identified dates of earthquakes ≥ magnitude 4 (a level felt by most people) with data from the U.S. Geologic Survey. The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office provided county-level monthly vehicle crash counts. We defined high, medium, and low earthquake exposure counties based on the location of earthquake epicenters. Using time-series analyses, we evaluated the association between monthly counts of ≥magnitude 4 earthquakes and motor vehicle crashes by exposure group. Earthquakes ≥ magnitude 4 took place in 38 of 84 study months, and a monthly average of 5813 (SD = 384) crashes occurred between 2010 and 2016. In high-exposure counties, we observed an additional 39.2 motor vehicle crashes per each additional ≥ magnitude 4 earthquake in the prior month (SE = 11.5). We found no association between the timing of ≥magnitude 4 earthquakes and motor vehicle crashes in the medium or low exposure counties. With a binary earthquake exposure variable, we found a 4.6% (SE = 1.4%) increase in motor vehicle crashes in the high exposure counties in the month following 1 or more ≥magnitude 4 earthquakes. Consistent with our hypothesis, there was no association between earthquakes of magnitude ≤ 2.5 and motor vehicle crashes in the high-exposure counties. This novel evidence of an association between induced earthquakes in Oklahoma and motor vehicle crashes warrants future research given the high economic and social costs of such vehicle crashes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Weather fronts, wind, and impending storms do this too.
    So does Christmas, and local college football games.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Clean-up after storms often hurt more than the storms did.

    Sawing at downed trees with chainsaws is a game of in your face Jenga

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Norfolk UK and some of me is in Northern France
    I happened to be there to feel one of the worst minor quakes, not nearly violent enough to think of driving away. But there are tornado warnings in OK too which set off alarms even in my uk phone. Much more likely to cause faster driving. How do thay get grants to study that? One time i was in a bar with the sirens going off. I think there was more alcohol consumed than normal. Can i get a grant to check that out please?
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    And I'll take a double...hic'

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