Personality and social risk factors for driving offences

Date of this Version


Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Details

Interim status: Citation only.

Fritzon, K., Ferrari, C. & Fleming, L. (2010). Personality and social risk factors for driving offences. In R.E. Hicks (Ed.), Personality and individual differences: Current directions (pp.327-339). Bowen Hills: Australian Academic Press.

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2010 HERDC submission. FoR code: 170100

© Copyright Kate Fritzon, Carla Ferrari & Laura Fleming, 2010




The aim of this study was to identify salient personality and social characteristics that are common to traffic offenders and may be predictive of the type of offences they commit and their risk of recidivism. A sample of n=30 psychological assessment reports were subjected to a content analysis procedure to identify offender personal history variables, and these were entered into multidimensional scaling analyses to examine the structure among the variables. Three categories of driving offences were identified that each correlated with a specific set of background personality characteristics variables. Driving under the influence offences correlated with variables indicating substance addictions and poor coping skills; driving while disqualified offences correlated with previous traffic offences indicating a disregard for the law and needs based offending. Other traffic offences including not having a licence correlated with psychiatric history and lack of employment. Further study is necessary to understand the relationships among the variables but this study does provide some support for the possibility of creating a driving offender risk assessment instrument.

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This document has been peer reviewed.