There Are Seven Types of Drivers: Which One Are You?

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

A recent European study has revealed that there are seven different types of drivers on today’s roadways.

Social psychologists from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) teamed up with Goodyear Tires for an ongoing study that examines the social psychology of road safety. As a result, the study has identified different ways that people respond when interacting with other drivers on the road.

By conducting focus groups and in-depth interviews with European drivers, researchers have identified seven different personalities that frequently manifest themselves when people are behind the wheel.

1. The Teacher

The first type of driver is The Teacher, who needs to make sure other drivers know what they’ve done wrong and expects recognition for his or her efforts to teach others.

2. The Know it All

The next type is The Know-it-All, who thinks they are surrounded “by incompetent fools” and often keep themselves happy by shouting condescendingly at other drivers while being protected in their vehicle.

3. The Competitor

The third is The Competitor, who constantly needs to get ahead of other drivers and is constantly annoyed when someone gets in the way. That driver can be identified by the constant need to accelerate when someone tries to overtake them or closing the gap to prevent someone from getting in front of them.

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4. The Punisher

Next up is The Punisher, who likes to punish other drivers for any perceived misbehavior. Better known as road ragers, these drivers might end up getting out of their cars to approach other drivers directly.

5. The Philosopher

Then there’s The Philosopher, which accepts misbehavior easily and tries to rationally explain it. Those drivers often manage to control their emotions while inside a car.

6. The Avoider

Sixth on the list is The Avoider, who treats misbehaving other drivers impersonally and dismisses them as a hazard.

7. The Escapee

Last is The Escapee, a driver that likes to listen to music or talks on the phone while behind the wheel. According to the researchers, The Escapee “distracts themselves with selected social relationships so that they do not have to relate to any of the other drivers on the road. It’s also a strategy for not getting frustrated in the first place.”

“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,” said Dr. Chris Tennant, a social psychologist that is leading the research at LSE. “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. 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.”

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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  • Michaelt1953 Michaelt1953 on Mar 10, 2017

    Not sure if I fit just one. My mantra is "Lead, follow or get out of the way" and I try to live it on the road. Motorcycling has made me an aggressive-passive. "Aggressive" to find a low risk (passive) position on the road. I agree, the psychologist(s) who created the categories must not have been in the top 50% of their class.

  • Gunnar Slttum Gunnar Slttum on Mar 20, 2017

    I have been more than one of those, but after > 1,7 mill km on the road I have landed on the philosopher.....hehe