The present study aimed to identify subtypes of drivers in an Italian sample of 207 adolescents aged 14 to 15 with heterogeneous moped riding experiences. The subtypes were obtained by applying cluster analysis techniques on a limited number of relevant personality measures; as a mean of external validation, subtypes were compared on two measures extracted from students’ performances on a moped simulator. The stability over time of the subtypes was investigated by examining the predictive power of the profiles on both real-life driving behaviours and road events as reported by participants one year later the simulation sessions. The validity of simulation was also investigated by analysing the concordance of simulator measures with the follow-up driving measures. Three subgroups were identified (cluster A, B, C). Profile B was characterized by high levels of sensation seeking and impulsivity, and low levels of altruism and anxiety. It showed high risk propensity considering both self-report and simulator measures. Profile A was characterized by high levels of anxiety, externality and low levels of sensation seeking and altruism. While showing cautious driving behaviours, it did not differ from profile B in terms of crash involvement. Profile C was characterized by high levels of altruism and a more internal orientation; it showed the safest driving attitude. The analyses on the follow-up driving measures revealed the differences between subtypes in terms of driving risk to be stable over time. The simulator measures revealed high concordance with self-report data, supporting the validity of simulation for the assessment of driving behaviours.
Keywords: Risky driving, Adolescence, Driving simulator, Personality profiles, Cluster analysis
Davide Marengo, Michele Settanni, Giulio Vidotto, Silvia Ciairano, Personality subtypes and risk in adolescence: a longitudinal study of driving behavior in simulation and real-world environment in "RICERCHE DI PSICOLOGIA " 1/2012, pp. 33-61, DOI:10.3280/RIP2012-001003