There are seven common personality types for European drivers, according to research by the London School of Economics and Political Science in conjunction with Goodyear tyres.
Researchers used focus groups and in-depth interviews to find out common behaviours and discovered seven personalities that ‘frequently manifest themselves’.
The seven personalities are: The Teacher, the Know-it-all, the Competitor, the Punisher, the Philosopher, the Avoider and the Escapee.
The Teacher is described as a driver who ‘needs to make sure other drivers know what they have done wrong and expects recognition for their efforts to teach others’, the report explained.
The Know-it-all, meanwhile, lives up to its name by thinking they are ‘surrounded by incompetent fools and contents themselves with shouting condescendingly at other drivers while being protected in their own car’.
Those who were branded the Competitor ‘need to get ahead of all other drivers and are annoyed when someone tries to overtake them or close a gap to prevent anyone from getting in front of them’. Audi drivers, then.
The Punisher wants to ‘punish other drivers for any perceived misbehaviour’ and ‘might end up getting out of his or her car or approaching other drivers directly’ for a spot of road rage.
Those classed as the Avoider treat ‘misbehaving other drivers impersonally, dismissing them as a hazard’.
Lastly is the Escapee, which ‘listens to music or talk on the phone to insulate him or herself’ and ‘distract themselves with selected social relationships so they do not have to relate to any of the other drivers on the road’, a tactic the research said helps with not ‘getting frustrated in the first place’.
Research lead at the London School of Economics and Political Science Dr Chris Tennant of the department of social psychology said: “Much of the time we can sit happily in the comfortable bubble of our car, but around any corner we may have to interact with other drivers. This makes the road a challenging and uncertain social environment.
“While we may worry about others’ driving, this research suggests that their behavior also depends on what we do. We create the personalities that we don’t like. From a psychological point of view, these different types of personalities represent different outlets that drivers use to deal with their frustrations and strong feelings.”
Many of us will have elements of each of the seven personalities. “We are not always entirely one or the other. Depending on the situation and the interaction with others, most of us will find several of these profiles emerge,” he added.
The research looked at European drivers and in the next phase it will look into the behaviours of drivers across 15 countries, the results of which are expected to be published in October 2015.
Unsure which personality fits the bill? You can use Goodyear quiz below.