Feelings of vulnerability and effects on driving behaviour: a qualitative study

Holly Gwyther, Carol Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Feelings of vulnerability in driving can be considered an emotional response to risk perception and the coping strategies adopted could have implications for continued mobility. In a series of focus groups with 48 licensed drivers aged 18-75 years, expressions of vulnerability in driver coping behaviours were examined. Despite feelings of vulnerability appearing low, qualitative thematic analysis revealed a complex array of coping strategies in everyday driving including planning, use of 'co-pilots', self-regulation, avoidance and confrontive coping, i.e. intentional aggression toward other road users. The findings inform future intervention studies to enable appropriate coping strategy selection and prolong independent mobility in older adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research: Part F
Early online date3 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - May 2014

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Transportation research: part F. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Gwyther, H & Holland, C, 'Feelings of vulnerability and effects on driving behaviour: a qualitative study' Transportation research: part F, vol 24 (2014) DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trf.2014.03.001


  • driving behaviour
  • coping
  • feelings of vulnerability
  • older adults


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