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Mike Waters' blog: 14 September - What kind of driver are you?

Date: 02 September 2015

Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at Arval, the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company

So you probably thought you just got in the car and then drove? If new research is anything to go by, you need to think again..

There are seven different driving personalities apparently, and which one you are will have an impact on how you behave when behind the wheel.

Goodyear Research and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) are behind the findings which have identified the following types::

  1. The Teacher: needs to make sure other drivers know what they have done wrong and expects recognition of his/her efforts to teach others.
  2. The Know-it-all: thinks he/she is surrounded by incompetent fools and contents themselves with shouting condescendingly at other drivers while being protected in their own car.
  3. The Competitor: needs to get ahead of all other drivers and is annoyed when someone gets in the way of that. He/she might accelerate when someone tries to overtake them or close a gap to prevent anyone from getting in front of them.
  4. The Punisher: wants to punish other drivers for any perceived misbehaviour. Might end up getting out of his/her car or approaching other drivers directly.
  5. The Philosopher: accepts misbehaviour easily and tries to rationally explain it. Manages to control his/her feelings in the car.
  6. The Avoider: treats misbehaving other drivers impersonally, dismisses them as a hazard.
  7. The Escapee: listens to music or talks on the phone to insulate him/herself. Escapees distract themselves with selected social relationships so that they do not have to relate to any of the other drivers on the road. It's also a strategy for not getting frustrated in the first place.

LSE and Goodyear are hoping to better understand how drivers influence each other's behavior on the road.

It's not an exact science and pigeonholing people doesn't always work because we operate differently in different conditions. None-the-less, it's still really interesting to look at where you think you fit and I certainly felt a particular affiliation to one of the categories.

So whatever your type is, it is useful to know your strengths, and especially your weaknesses, so that you can positively influence your driving style.