Why do people's personalities change when they're driving a car?

Jump to Last Post 1-5 of 5 discussions (11 posts)
  1. Electro-Denizen profile image82
    Electro-Denizenposted 3 years ago

    Why do people's personalities change when they're driving a car?

    Is it a power thing, being in control of a vehicle? Dissociation from the other person, being separated by glass and metal?

    Seems to me, that people behave badly toward each other on the road, when it wouldn't happen if they were standing next to each, perhaps trying to go through the same door at the same time.

    What's it all about?

  2. Jeremy Gill profile image95
    Jeremy Gillposted 3 years ago

    You're exactly right, being separated by glass and metal tends to have us thinking more selfishly. Ever noticed how much more belligerent people are on the internet, where they're physically disconnected from the people they interact with? Same principle.

    On top of that, people always seem to believe that the speed they drive at is the ideal speed. Anyone going lower is too slow; anyone faster is a maniac. Since we tend to think of ourselves first, if we see a slow driver, we don't think "Maybe there car has a problem" or "Maybe they want to drive slower to be safe". Instead, we get mad and honk at them.

    Call me silly, but I think you can often accurately assess how selfless a person is by their driving. How polite will they be when there's a screen between them and other drivers, and no one will see their kindnesses?

    1. Electro-Denizen profile image82
      Electro-Denizenposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Good point, fast or slow, we tend to think we're doing the correct speed and other people are not! Probably agree with you about assessing how selfless a person is, by the way they drive...

  3. tsmog profile image81
    tsmogposted 3 years ago

    That is an interesting question. The automobile itself is thought by research to be an extension of ones personality. One must consider personality does have quarks at times with feelings becoming emotions. Most definitely when one drives an automobile like riding a bike their is the experience of being in control of 'something' offering the sensation of power. Responsibly driving or even riding a bike is at task by us all. There in lay another question regarding personality and driving - How responsible is one's character?

    1. Electro-Denizen profile image82
      Electro-Denizenposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      indeed, good point... and that sensation of power, is that the sum of it then, why people become different behind the wheel... that many people can't handle even a small bit of power wisely...?

    2. tsmog profile image81
      tsmogposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Not sure regarding handling power wisely, yet shall ponder. I offer maybe it is not understanding 'how' powerful and 'how much' power a car really is and has. In one sense a car does fly when considering how much contact patch there is with the tires

    3. Electro-Denizen profile image82
      Electro-Denizenposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      yes, that is a better and fairer way of looking at it... Had not thought of that, that a car does fly, in a sense.... I guess we all want to fly deep down, maybe this is why we love cars...

  4. Silva Hayes profile image88
    Silva Hayesposted 3 years ago

    It's complicated; there are probably many reasons why some people's personalities seem to change when they drive. Generally speaking, I find many people to be immature. They begin driving when they are still teenagers and come from a background of being controlled by their parents. Suddenly, for the first time in their lives, they gain some control. It goes to their heads; they feel a sudden rush of power, and this feeling, coupled with the natural teenage opinion that they know everything and that they are invincible, causes them to drive too aggressively. Some people never grow up beyond that.

    Others become more mature over time and outgrow that first feeling of power, and recognize the responsibility of controlling a large heavy hunk of metal hurtling down the highway beside other similar hunks. There are many factors at play here, age, marital status, parenthood, and so on. Some people continue to mature and become more responsible, and some don't.

    Add to the mix the narcissist or sociopathic personalities out there sharing the road with the rest of us, and you have an enormous hodgepodge of different types of drivers. People think they are anonymous behind the wheel, but in today's world, that's no longer true. People have cell phones and take pictures of license plates and post the pictures on Facebook, so it would behoove people to know that they are not in their own little world when they are behind the wheel. Others see them and note their behavior.

    It pleases me to be courteous and allow another driver to merge into my lane. However, in the same exact situation, my husband will speed up and not allow them in. It's scary out there; if we stop and think about it, we will huddle under the covers and not go out.

    1. Electro-Denizen profile image82
      Electro-Denizenposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      I couldn't agree more, the road is a scary place. When I took my driving lessons years ago, the instructor said to me, that every time she got into the car, she thought to herself it might be her last. To drum into her pupils how dangerous roads are.

  5. Ericdierker profile image43
    Ericdierkerposted 3 years ago

    I think much of it has to do with being a great equalizer. Much like the pistol of the old west. Suddenly people who would be no match for others in the physical or mental worlds are equal. A mere child equal to a CEO a housewife equal to an athlete. Those who are not used to competition in the ordinary life can now compete with abandon. A certain immaturity and lack of self control comes with this new found power and equality.
    We do not teach new drivers the "art" or craft of driving. We do not train them. We simply teach them the rules that make everyone even more equal on the road and this breeds further "competition" on the roadway.
    Personally my attitude changes behind the wheel. While I am assertive and practice some offensive driving, I become much less aggressive than I am normally. In the natural social world my behavior could be disliked, behind the wheel it could be deadly.

    1. Electro-Denizen profile image82
      Electro-Denizenposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Interesting, the equalizer, that is possibly so, hadn't though of that....


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)