In a longitudinal survey 64 inpatients of an emergency clinic were examined 1 week as well as 3 months after a motor vehicle accident. Posttraumatic stress symptoms and strategies of thought control were assessed. Ten days after the accident, a posttraumatic stress symptomatology is observable in 14.1% of patients, 3 months after the accident the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is 39.1%. Strategies of thought control are correlated with post-traumatic symptomatology 10 days after the accident and after 3 months. The result of an explorative data analysis shows an important role of the control strategies ’distraction’ and ’worry’ in correlation with posttraumatic stress symptoms.