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Car deaths rise days after terror attacks

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12:43pm, October 5, 2004

Terrorism's deadly effects may not occur all at once. Consider the disturbing tendency, described in a new study in Israel, for the number of automobile fatalities to surge by an average of 35 percent 3 days after each of a series of terrorist attacks.

Guy Stecklov of Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Joshua R. Goldstein of Princeton University attribute the third-day spike in traffic deaths to a delayed, population-wide reaction to terrorist acts. However, reasons for the day-3 increase—which ranged as high as 69 percent after terrorist attacks that killed 10 or more people—remain unclear, the scientists say.

They present their findings in the Oct. 5 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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