Violence in the Road: The Crime of Vehicular Homicide

Raymond J. Michalowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


While social scientists have devoted considerable attention to the studyof inter-personal violence, little is known about the patterns of impersonal violence represented by vehicular homicides. This report presents adescriptive analysis of 119 vehicular homicides occurring in a large midwestern city during a three-year period. In analyzing vehicular homicidesfrom a criminological perspective an attempt was made to identify theecological, demographic, social, and prior offense patterns of this form ofviolent death. The findings indicate that the sociological characteristicsof vehicular homicide are nearly identical to those of other urban crimesof violence, that individuals with a prior history of criminal aggressivityconstitute a significant proportion of vehicular homicide offenders, andthat there is a strong positive relationship between traffic offenses and ahistory of criminal aggressivity. It is concluded that these findings support the hypothesis that the tendency toward aggressive behavior, characteristic of a subculture of violence, influences the way an individualdrives as well as his face-to face interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-43
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Research in Crime and Delinquency
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1975

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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