A Review of Research on Driving Styles and Road Safety
Objective: To outline a conceptual framework for understanding driving style and, based on this, review the state-of-the-art research on driving styles in relation to road safety.
Background: Previous research has indicated a relationship between the driving styles adopted by drivers and their crash involvement. However, a comprehensive literature review of driving style research is lacking.
Method: A systematic literature search was conducted, including empirical, theoretical and methodological research on driving styles related to road safety.
Results: A conceptual framework was proposed where driving styles are viewed in terms of driving habits established as a result of individual dispositions as well as social norms and cultural values. Moreover, a general scheme for categorising and operationalizing driving styles was suggested. On this basis, existing literature on driving styles and indicators was reviewed. Links between driving styles and road safety were identified and individual and socio-cultural factors influencing driving style were reviewed.
Conclusion: Existing studies have addressed a wide variety of driving styles, and there is an acute need for a unifying conceptual framework in order to synthesise these results and make useful generalisations. There is a considerable potential for increasing road safety by means of behaviour modification. Naturalistic driving observations represent particularly promising approaches to future research on driving styles.
Application: Knowledge about driving styles can be applied in programmes for modifying driver behaviour and in the context of usage-based insurance. It may also be used as a means for driver identification and for the development of driver assistance systems.