Time spent on the road can be a stressful and frustrating experience.
Now, an ongoing study carried out by social psychologists from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Goodyear has identified the different ways that people respond when they interact with other drivers on the road.
The study examined how drivers deal with their own feelings and their uncertainty as to the behaviour of other road users. Researchers found seven different driving personality types on Britain’s roads frequently manifest themselves, including The Know-it-all and The Punisher.
SEVEN DRIVING PERSONALITY TYPES OF UK DRIVERS:
- THE TEACHER: We get them in every walk of life, but the Teachers of the driving world can be quite frustrating. They feel the need to make other drivers know what they have done wrong, and will always expect recognition of their efforts. You’ll know you’ve met a teacher when you feel like you’re back in driving school!
- THE KNOW-IT-ALL: In a friendship group they’re bad, at work they’re even worse. But on the road? They take the biscuit. Always in the right, Know-It-All’s content themselves by shouting condescendingly at other drivers.
- THE COMPETITOR: If they were a movie, they’d be Fast & Furious (all seven of them). They think life is one big race, and will often accelerate when someone tries to overtake them, or close a gap to prevent anyone from getting in front of them. This one takes no prisoners.
- THE PUNISHER: The Liam Neeson of the road, this driver wants to punish other drivers for their misbehaviour and poor driving skills. This driver is the only one that has the nerve to approach other drivers directly! They will find you. And they will tell you.
- THE PHILOSOPHER: And breeeeathe. This cool, calm and collected driver is a vision of zen, accepting bad behaviour with an impersonal, rational view. Feelings are controlled whilst they sway along to Classic FM in the background.
- THE AVOIDER: Practically driving on the fence, this personality will dismiss any bad driving as a hazard, with nothing taken to heart. The Switzerland of the road, if you will.
- THE ESCAPEE: The Escapee’s radio tuner gets more use than their indicator. Distracting themselves from the journey ahead, they often appear to be talking animatedly to themselves, but on closer inspection they’re on their hands free set. They don’t want the frustration the road can bring, so distraction it is!
The research found each ‘driving personality’ can emerge in different situations when drivers interact with others on the road.
“Much of the time we can sit happily in the comfortable bubble of our car, but around any corner we may have to interact with other drivers. This makes the road a challenging and uncertain social environment,” explains Dr. Chris Tennant, social psychologist, who is leading the research project.
“While we may worry about others’ driving, this research suggests that their behavior also depends on what we do. We create the personalities that we don’t like. From a psychological point of view, these different types of personalities represent different outlets that drivers use to deal with their frustrations and strong feelings. We are not always entirely one or the other. Depending on the situation and the interaction with others, most of us will find several of these profiles emerge.”
The ongoing study by LSE and Goodyear seeks to identify how drivers influence each other’s behaviour on the road, and these personalities are one way of capturing how we respond to each other.
Perhaps pointing to a young generation of ‘Know It Alls’, data gained from previous in-depth research by Goodyear revealed that over a third (40%) of young drivers are willing to take more risks than previous generations. 29% admitted they are less likely to follow advice received during driver training or see the value in driving lessons.
“Understanding what type of behavior we exhibit and what situations provoke it is a first step for all of us to better control it, thereby creating a safer driving environment for ourselves and others on the road,” comments Kate Rock, PR Manager for Goodyear Tyres.
“Besides effective enforcement of laws against aggressive driving; education and life–long learning remain the most powerful public strategies to address this social and emotional aspect of driving and to achieve the greatest improvements in road safety.”
Visit playbuzz.com or take the quiz below to find out your driving personality.