Iranian Journal of Psychiatry 2017. 12(2):78-86.

The Cognitive and Psychological Factors (Personality, Driving Behavior, and Mental illnesses) as Predictors in Traffic Violations
Seyyed Salman Alavi, Mohammad Reza Mohammadi, Hamid Soori, Maryam Ghanizadeh


Objective: Driving is a complex behavior and is affected by several factors. This cohort study aimed at representing the main determinants such as personality features, driving behavior, and mental illnesses on driving violation based on logistic regression.

Methods: In this cohort study, 800 heavy truck and lorry drivers were recruited. Participants were selected from those individuals who referred to Imam Sajjad hospital in Tehran, Iran during fall 2013 to summer 2015. Manchester Driving Behavior Questionnaire (MDBQ), Big Five Personality Test (NEO Personality Inventory), and SADS (Semi-Structural Interview) were used in this study. After 2 years, we checked all traffic violations caused by human factors involving the drivers. SPSS Version 18 was used for data analysis; t test and logistic regression (OR) was also used. 

Results: The findings of the present study revealed significant differences between the 2 groups of drivers (those who were and were not involved in driving offenses) with respect to controlling the effective and demographic variables. Moreover, it was found that depression and anxiety could increase the chance of accidents (2.4 and 2.7 accidents odds, respectively) (P = 0.04, P = 0.004). Furthermore, just neuroticism could increase 1.1 odds of traffic offences (P = 0.009), but other personality traits did not have an effect on the equation.

Conclusions: Consistent with previous examinations, some mental disorders may affect traffic violations.  Considering the magnitude and sensitivity of driving behavior, it is essential to evaluate multiple psychological factors in drivers before and after receiving or renewing their driver’s licenses.

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