The seven types of driver

Driver behaviour

HOW many times a day do we lose the rag or swear at other drivers…too many to admit.

Well apparently there are seven types of driver, from the Know-It-All to the Punisher, according to a study.

Psychologists looked at the way motorists interact with others on the road.

And they found they fell into various categories. As well as the Know-it-all and the Punisher, there is the Teacher, the Competitor, the Philosopher, the Avoider and the Escapee.

Social psychologist Dr Chris Tennan, who is leading the study, said: “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.

“While we may worry about others’ driving, this research suggests that their behaviour also depends on what we do. We create the personalities that we don’t like. 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 research was carried out by psychologists from the London School of Economics and Political Science and tyre manufacturers Goodyear.

Previous research by Goodyear found that 40 per cent of young drivers are Know-It-Alls who are willing to take more risks than others.


THE TEACHER: Needs to make sure other drivers know what they have done wrong and expects recognition of that.

THE KNOW-IT-ALL: Thinks he/she is surrounded by fools and shouts condescendingly at other drivers.

THE COMPETITOR: Needs to get ahead of all other drivers and is annoyed when someone gets in the way.

THE PUNISHER: Wants to punish other drivers for any perceived misbehaviour. Might approach drivers directly.

THE PHILOSOPHER: Accepts bad behaviour and tries to rationalise it.

THE AVOIDER: Dismisses drivers who misbehave as a hazard.

THE ESCAPEE: Listens to music or talks on the phone to insulate themselves when driving.

What do you think?

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