what your driving style says about your personality

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

What your driving style says about your personality

Why do some drivers suddenly cut others off?
Why do some drivers honk repeatedly at those who slow down?
Why do some calm people become very aggressive as soon as they sit behind the driving wheel?

Just like your choice of a car can tell some information about your personality the way you drive your car can tell a lot about you.

Mainly there are two factors that determine how will a person behave behind the driving wheel, his current mood and his psychological make up.

I am sure you already know that driving while feeling angry will result in a more aggressive driving style. Because humans usually try to channel their negative emotions in any available way they get a relief when they direct their anger towards other drivers on the road.

Our moods can explain to a great extent why do we sometimes change our driving style but our personalities determine the style that we will stick to most of the time.

Psychological factors that affect the driving style

Here are some psychological factors that greatly affect people's driving styles:

  • 1) The need to be in control: Control freaks or those who are obsessed with being in control are ones who will respond aggressively to other drivers whenever they force them to do something that they don't want to do. If for example a driver kept flashing high beams at another driver's mirror in order to let him speed up then this driver will refuse to speed up if he cares about being in control. A stubborn driver will do the same exact action as well, in fact stubbornness can be nothing more than a defense mechanism a person uses to remain in control
  • 2) Ego & Achievement: Drivers who have inflated egos will rarely allow someone to bypass them. Those drivers might drive calmly until someone bypasses them quickly in a way that annoys them. Because those people believe that they are more worthy than others they wont accept coming in the second position and that's why they might start racing with whomever who dares to challenge them. (see also The psychology of arrogant people)
  • 3) Inferiority and cheap victories: Many of the drivers who start racing with others feel inferior to them. Its not uncommon for a driver who is driving an old car to try to race with a new sports car. In such a case this driver wants to feel superior to the one driving the new car because he already feels inferior to him. In other words some drivers race with others in order to get a cheap victory. This usually happens with the ones who failed to make great achievements in their lives. In the Solid Self confidence program i said that when a person fails to satisfy his need for success in a direct way he starts seeking cheap victories in order to satisfy these same needs in other ways
  • 4) Aggression and road rage: Aggressive people are the ones who were taught that violence is the best way to handle conflicts. Those people usually prefer bigger and stronger cars or even trucks because they know that strength can be used to tame other drivers. By picking a car that is larger and stronger than most cars those drivers manage to intimidate the other drivers on the road and to keep them away. Those drivers want to maintain the identity of being dangerous because it makes them feel more worthy. Their goal is to make other drivers believe that they are the ones whom they shouldn't mess with (see also How your psychological identity affects your behavior)
  • 5) Cautious drivers: Some drivers are overly cautious. They never exceed the speed limit, always have their seat belt on and they never race with other cars. Those people are the ones who are overly cautious in real life as well. On the opposite are rebels or people who refuse to stick to norms. While rebels might not always drive progressively you can still find many of them driving without licenses, ignoring road safety signs and driving recklessly in some occasions

How to figure out someone's personality by watching him driving

The first thing you must put in mind is that a person's mood can greatly affect the way he drivers a car. Happiness is more likely to result in driving with higher speeds while depression can result in the opposite.

In order to get an accurate interpretation of a driver's personality you need to sit beside him more than once in order to be able to figure out how he drivers when he is not emotionally charged.

Try to connect the driver's behavior with his behavior in real life and you will discover that personality can be revealed through the driving style alone.

2knowmysef is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself.

The Solid confidence program was launched by 2knowmyself.com; the program will either help you become more confident or give you your money back.

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