Psychological state, including stress

Drivers' psychological state can have an impact on safe driving, for example, stress and anger are known to impair driving. Use this page to access research on how your psychological and emotional state can affect your driving, as well as measures to reduce stress and aggression in drivers.

Can traffic violations be traced to gender-role, sensation seeking, demographics, driving exposure?
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, 30/07/2016

Gender roles and expectations are a better predictor of driver behaviour and the number of self-reported violations than biology.

Influential factors of red-light running at signalized intersection and prediction using a rare events logistic regression model
School of Transport Science and Engineering, Beihang University, China, 26/07/2016

The behaviour of the driver in front on the approach to traffic lights can have a significant influence on whether a driver will engage in red light running.

Exploring the association of rear-end crash propensity and micro-scale driver behaviour
Institute for Transport Research and Education, North Carolina University, USA, 10/06/2016

There is a close relationship between rear-end crashes and dangerous driver behaviours, finds North Carolina University.

Demographic determinants of car ownership in Japan
Kobe University, Japan, 09/06/2016

A smaller population and household size encourage car ownership in Japan, according to research from Kobe, Japan.

The effects of brief visual interruption tasks on drivers' ability to resume their visual search for a pre-cued hazard
Ben Gurion University, Israel, 19/05/16

In-vehicle visual tasks disrupt drivers’ ability to identify and anticipate hazards, finds Ben Gurion University

Personality, Executive Control, and Neurobiological Characteristics Associated with Different Forms of Risky Driving
Research Centre of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Montreal, Canada, 24/02/2016

Driving when sad, angry or agitated increases crash risk almost tenfold.

Researchers determine driver risks using large-scale, crash-only naturalistic database
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 23/02/2016

Drivers who exhibit different types of persistent risky driving behaviour also show distinct patterns of personality, cognitive and neurobiological features.

Driver views on speed and enforcement
Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, 14/01/2016

Drivers in Israel tended to break speed limits because of time pressures, and stick to them because of enforcement not safety concerns.

Driving anger in Ukraine: Appraisals, not trait driving anger, predict anger intensity while driving
National Aviation University, Kiev, Ukraine, 19/12/2015

A person's tendency to become angry is not a direct predictor of anger intensity while driving, but is mediated by driving conditions.

The need for speed? The relationships between driver traits and speed choices during a naturalistic drive
Accident Research Centre, Monash University, Australia, 23/10/2015

Those who are prone to anxiety drive differently from those who are prone to anger.

Relationships between thrill seeking, speeding attitudes, and driving violations among a sample of motorsports spectators and drivers
Western University, Canada, 22/10/2015

In a survey of motorsport spectators and drivers, those with a thrill-seeking attitude were more likely to report driving violations.

The perceived effectiveness of road safety interventions: Regulation of drivers’ behavioral intentions and self-consciousness
Université de Franche-Comté, France, 13/08/2015

Drivers' perception of the effectiveness of road safety interventions affects how they behave, particularly for interventions involving surveillance or penalties.

Me have a traffic accident? The effects of core self-evaluations on the perceived likelihood and perceived undesirability of traffic accidents
Université de Franche-Comté, France, 13/08/2015

Drivers' own innate self-belief affects how likely they perceive a crash to be, yet their understanding becomes more realistic as they gain experience.

Driver behaviour profiles for road safety analysis
University of Sydney, 29/01/2015

Driver behaviour profiles are a tool for predicting risky behaviour by drivers.

Route Familiarity in Road Safety: Speed Choice and Risk Perception Based on a On-Road Study
Transportation Research Board, 2015

Drivers are more likely to take risks and drive faster on roads with which they are familiar.

Emotional states of drivers and the impact on speed, acceleration and traffic violations
Leuphana University of Lueneburg, 15/05/14

Drivers who react angrily to events on the road accelerate harder and drive at higher speeds for up to 2km (1.2m miles) past the incident.

Driving Citations and Aggressive Behavior
Traffic Injury Prevention Journal, 20/06/12

People with a history of aggressive behaviour are more likely to offend on the road.

Reasons for anger at the wheel
University of Žilina, 02/12/11

Drivers cite the inconsiderate behaviour of other drivers as the main cause of anger at the wheel.

‘You’re a bad driver but I just made a mistake’
Queensland University of Technology, 21/03/11

Aggressive driving behaviours can be addressed by persuading drivers to acknowledge they have the power to modify their behaviour.

Comparing stress of car and train commuters
Polytechnic Institute of New York University, 28/02/11

Car commuters report significantly higher levels of stress and negativity than train commuters.

Driving anxiety and fear in young older adults in New Zealand
Massey University, NZ, 07/12/10

Up to 20% of New Zealand drivers experience anxiety and fear whilst driving which can impact upon mobility and independence.

Statistical Bulletin: Household Transport in 2009
The Scottish Government, 24/09/10

44% of Scottish drivers were victims of road rage within a two-year period.

Aggression on the road as a function of stress, coping strategies and driver style
Bar-Ilan University, 19/01/10

Stress is a common factor for all drivers, but drivers who displayed aggressive behavior had higher levels of stress than drivers who didn’t display aggressive behaviour.

Job loss is bad for your health
Goteborg University, Sweden, 02/04/09

Men who lose their jobs are more likely to be involved in road crashes. Has implications for employers making redundancies or stressful changes to job roles or pay.

The relationship between crime and road safety report no. 284
Monash University Accident Research Centre, 05/02/09

Finds a link between criminal behaviour and dangerous driving in Victoria, Australia, emphasising the value of more road safety education of offenders and likely offenders.

Reference pending
Direct Line, 01/12/05

One in three drivers suffer symptoms of stress after being held up in traffic for as little as three to five minutes, says a survey of 1,792 drivers.

The multidimensional driving style inventory--scale construct and validation
Bar-Ilan University, 01/05/04

A model that describes eight specific driving styles--dissociative, anxious, risky, angry, high-velocity, distress reduction, patient, and careful.

Effects of violent video games on aggressive behaviour, aggressive cognition
Iowa State University, 01/01/01

Finds exposure to violent video games increases physiological arousal and aggression-related thoughts and feelings.


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