Universal and Specific Individual and Psychological Risk Factors for Traffic Accidents among Mentally Healthy People and People with Mental Disorders



The article presents the results of the research aimed to highlight the individual, psychological and cognitive risk factors of getting into a traffic accident depending on the presence of a mental disorder. 139 people aged from 18 to 59 years old (average age 30.44 years ± 9.56) were examined using a set of methods aimed at assessing the individual and typological features of self-control, individual, psychological and cognitive features of the driver's personality. Analysis of the results allowed identifying the universal individual and psychological risk factors for getting into a traffic accident. Specifically: systemic violations of self-regulation in the form of a violation of the connectedness of its stages, impulsiveness, risk-taking, physical aggression. When assessing the contribution of the parameter “guilty / not guilty in accident”, statistically significant differences in the indicators of cognitive methods were revealed. The convicted drivers were significantly distinguished by a high degree of workability, selectivity and accuracy of attention, providing a reactive response, with low processing speed of visual information and fatigue. Characteristics that significantly distinguish the convicted drivers, depending on the presence or absence of the factor “mental disorder”, were also highlighted. Mentally healthy drivers can be characterized by violations of the activation system, due to the orientation of the reward; low level of selectivity of attention, as well as high rates of dissociative driving style, which is characterized by disregard for the rules on the road; low level of planning and evaluation of the results of their own activities. Drivers with mental disorders were statistically significantly distinguished by high rates of risk-taking in the structure of self-control, low level of conscious planning, situational response conditions combined with suspiciousness, irritability, impulsiveness, and a decrease in criticality of mental activity. Characteristic features of their behavior on the road are high rates of anxious driving style, characterized by a heightened sense of alertness and tension while driving. Fatigue and difficulties in workability can be defined among the cognitive variables.

General Information

Keywords: traffic accident, dangerous driving, risk factors, individual and psychological features, cognitive features.

Journal rubric: Forensic and Clinical Psychology in Legal Context

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/psylaw.2019090212

For citation: Vasilchenko A. Universal and Specific Individual and Psychological Risk Factors for Traffic Accidents among Mentally Healthy People and People with Mental Disorders [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologiya i pravo = Psychology and Law, 2019. Vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 168–195. DOI: 10.17759/psylaw.2019090212. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Alesya Vasilchenko, PhD in Psychology, Senior Researcher, V.P. Serbsky National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4942-7975, e-mail: vasilchenko.alesya@gmail.com



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