AUTHORS: Cahour, B
JOURNAL: Proceedings of the 15th European conference on Cognitive ergonomics: the ergonomics of cool interaction, 2008
ABSTRACT: "Psychological comfort/discomfort is a global feeling constructed from the affective states which are lived by the users during the activity. This empirical study is about discomfort and emotions lived during all sorts of driving situations, and it is based on "explicitation interviews" and questionnaires. The analysis allowed us to specify the categories of uncomfortable situations during driving and their level of discomfort, to develop the underlying cognitive and social sources of discomfort (need of multiple attention; impossible anticipation; loss of control and feeling of un-ability; social image and relation), and to look at how people cope with the disagreeable situations, specifying the different types of coping modes (internal coping, external coping, avoidance)." [Full text available here (pdf)]
SUMMARY: This study is based on hour long interviews with 18 participants from a range of age groups. It is a general examination of experiences that cause negative emotions during driving. It was found that the most commonly experienced emotions were "tension and fear", followed by anger and then all other feelings. The sources of these feelings seem to be the need to attend to multiple aspects of a situation, of failures to see or anticipate events, feelings of being out of control or unskilled and the interference and opinions of other people. Coping strategies fall into three main groups: trying to change ones own thoughts or behavior, trying to change the situation, and avoidance of situations such as driving in certain areas. "It seems that older people are more often avoiding uncomfortable situations of driving..."
MY THOUGHTS: While not specifically about driving anxiety this paper gives a good background to the causes and outcomes of negative feelings whilst driving.
Béatrice Cahour (2008). Discomfort, affects and coping strategies in driving activity ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, 369