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Journal Article


Bowen L, Budden SL, Smith AP. Transp. Res. F Traffic Psychol. Behav. 2020; 72: 184-210.


(Copyright © 2020, Elsevier Publishing)






The purpose was to provide a systematic review of the literature related to the personality and well-being of social, domestic, pleasure and commuting (SDP&C) car drivers.

The following databases were searched: PsychINFO (PsychNET), Scopus (Elsevier), Web of Science (Social Sciences Index; WoS), ORCA (Online research at Cardiff University), Science Direct (Elsevier), Taylor and Francis Online, and PubMed. Grey literature was sourced using the Transport Research International Database (TRID) as well as conference proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and Driver Assessment. In parallel, an internet search of Google Scholar was undertaken. Two researchers reviewed papers suitable for inclusion. Eligible papers were those published in the English language, during the last decade; the latter to allow for a more contemporary appraisal of the literature. The search yielded thirty peer reviewed articles and ten reports relevant to the personality and well-being of SDP&C road users.

The findings show that anxiety, stress and depression were predictive of unfavourable driving outcomes (e.g. risk-taking, aggression, poor driving behaviour.) Further, driving discourtesy by others was found to not only induce stress reactions in drivers, but also led to riskier driving practice, such as deliberately engaging in intimidating driving behaviour. Negative personality traits were related with negative driving behaviours, whilst higher levels of well-being and life satisfaction appear to safeguard drivers against deliberate driving violations. There was a dearth of literature focusing on UK drivers, as well as research examining the impact of driving itself on the well-being of the driver.

Further longitudinal, multivariate research is required to examine all well-being/personality predictors, whilst controlling for established predictors (such as fatigue) such that the factors underpinning unsafe driving behaviour (in isolation and in combination) may be revealed.

Language: en


Mental health; Personality; Risk-taking; Road traffic collision; Social, domestic and pleasure drivers; Well-being


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