Motivational sources of driving and their associations with reckless driving cognitions and behavior

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Two studies were conducted to explore the motivational sources of driving and their associations with reckless driving among young drivers. In Study 1 (n = 290), self-report measures were developed to assess the perceived costs and benefits of driving, driver self-image, and self-efficacy as a driver. Factor analyses revealed four benefit factors (impression management, pleasure, thrill, and sense of control), four costs (distress, damage to self-esteem, annoyance, life endangerment), and four self-image factors (cautious, courteous, confident, and impulsive driver). Furthermore, significant associations were found between the various motivational sources on the one hand, and reported reckless driving, commission of traffic violations, and involvement in car accidents on the other. In Study 2 (n = 267), further associations were found between the motivational sources of driving and measures of the reckless driving scheme, namely, the perception of reckless driving as acceptable and desirable or as negative and threatening. The discussion focuses on the validity and utility of a multidimensional conceptualization of driving and reckless driving as separate entities, and on the practical implications of understanding the motivational aspects of driving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-64
Number of pages14
JournalRevue Europeenne de Psychologie Appliquee
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was conducted as part of a series of studies carried out at the Research Section of the Department for Casualties and Road Safety of the Israel Defense Forces when the author was head of this section. It was supported in part by the Israeli Transportation Ministry.


  • Motivation for driving
  • Young drivers


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