Affective States and Driving Behavior of Novice and Young Drivers
Authors: Michael Oehl, Rainer Höger
Abstract: Although general car safety has increased considerably and at the same time accident numbers have decreased remarkably on average in the European Union during the last years, the percentage of novice and young car drivers involved in heavy car accidents is still remaining dramatically high, e.g., in Germany more than twice as high compared to older and more experienced drivers based on their proportion of the driving population. Traffic psychological research shows that maladjusted driving behavior caused by affective states is a main contributor to traffic accidents. Therefore, our current experimental study analyzes this influence of affective states on driving performance with regard to novice and young drivers. In an experimental scenario affective states (positive vs. negative valence) were induced in participants and subjects were then asked to drive predefined routes in a driving simulator. Results indicated that drivers drove significantly faster in a positive affective state compared with drivers in a negative affective state. This effect was pronounced by trend for novice drivers.
Keywords: Affective States, Driving Behavior, Novice Drivers, Young Drivers
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