Psychiatric and Behavioral Problems in Aggressive Drivers

Motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) are a leading cause of accidental death and injury, and aggressive driving has been identified as a risk factor for MVAs. Thus, assessing psychiatric and behavioral disturbances in aggressive drivers is important to the development of prevention and intervention programs. This article reports on a study that compared the prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses and behavioral problems in young adult drivers with self-reported high driving aggression (n = 44) to that of drivers with low driving aggression (n = 44). Both aggressive and non-aggressive drivers were undergraduates students at the University at Albany, were approximately 19 years old, predominantly Caucasian, and from middle to upper middle class families. There were no significant differences in any of the demographic variables. Aggressive drivers evidenced a significantly higher current and lifetime prevalence of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders, and Cluster B Personality Disorders, as well as a significantly greater lifetime prevalence of Conduct Disorder, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Aggressive drivers also had a significantly greater prevalence of self-reported problems with anger, as well as a greater family history of anger problems and conflict. The authors conclude by imploring parents, schools and driver education professionals to be mindful of the presence of behavioral disorders that are associated with aggressive driving and perhaps even refer at-risk drivers for treatment prior to licensure. In addition, clinicians who treat individuals with these disorders may need to assess whether their clients are driving aggressively and then refer clients to specialized interventions.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Malta, Loretta S
    • Blanchard, Edward B
    • Freidenberg, Brian M
  • Publication Date: 2005-11


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 1467-1484
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01010570
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 11 2005 11:19AM