Who is a dangerous driver? Socio-demographic and personal determinants of risky traffic behavior
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Submission date: 2015-06-29
Final revision date: 2015-08-08
Acceptance date: 2015-08-10
Online publication date: 2015-08-21
Publication date: 2015-09-01
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2015;3(3):149–158
The aim of this study was to search for comprehensive socio-demographic and personal (personality and temperamental) determinants of risky on-the-road behavior. Based on the results of previous studies, we assumed that the main predictors of dangerous traffic behavior include: internal locus of control, sensation seeking, risk seeking and risk acceptance, as well as high self-esteem, a low level of reactivity combined with a high level of endurance and activity (which together determine a strong need for stimulation and a preference for hedonistic values); and among socio-demographic variables – age, gender, education and duration of having a driving license.

Participants and procedure
The study included a group of 380 participants, aged between 19 and 61 years (Me = 24). In order to verify the hypothesis, a battery of research tools measuring personality and temperamental variables was adopted, namely: the Formal Characteristics of Behavior – Temperament Questionnaire, Rotter I-E Scale, Risk Acceptance Scale, Stimulating-Instrumental Risk Inventory, Scheler Value Scale, Zuckerman Sensation Seeking Scale and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale.

The dangerous driver syndrome was found to be promoted by high levels of experience and sensation seeking, low levels of tolerance to boredom and monotony, high need for stimulating risk and high risk acceptance, high self-esteem, a preference for hedonistic values coupled with aversion towards moral values, as well as low sensory sensitivity, and was especially visible among older men with short driving experience.

It can be concluded that both socio-demographic and psychological variables, such as temperament and personality, are significant predictors of dangerous traffic behavior.