Behavior: Suicide by Auto

At 70 miles an hour, a lone driver smashes his car into a tree and dies in the wreckage. A highway cop notes the dry, straight road and lack of skid marks, then lists the cause of death as "improper driving." But behavioral scientists—as well as police—have long theorized that many such otherwise inexplicable crashes are actually disguised suicides.

Though circumstantial evidence is strong, proving that autocide actually does occur has been difficult. Now, in Science magazine, Sociologist David Phillips, 33, of the University of California, San Diego, has offered the most solid evidence yet that a number of suicides deliberately...

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