Difficulties in emotion regulation and risky driving among Lithuanian drivers

Laura Šeibokaitė, Auksė Endriulaitienė, Mark J.M. Sullman, Rasa Markšaitytė, Kristina Žardeckaitė-Matulaitienė

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Risky driving is a common cause of traffic accidents and injuries. However, there is no clear evidence of how difficulties in emotion regulation contribute to risky driving behavior, particularly in small post-Soviet countries. The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between difficulties in emotion regulation and self-reported risky driving behavior in a sample of Lithuanian drivers. Methods: A total of 246 nonprofessional Lithuanian drivers participated in a cross-sectional survey. Difficulties in emotion regulation were assessed using the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS; Gratz and Roemer 2004), and risky driving behavior was assessed using the Manchester Driver Behaviour Questionnaire (DBQ; Lajunen et al. 2004). Results: Males scored higher than females in aggressive violations and ordinary violations. Females scored higher for the nonacceptance of emotional responses, whereas males had more difficulties with emotional awareness than females. More difficulties in emotion regulation were positively correlated with driving errors, lapses, aggressive violations, and ordinary violations for both males and females. Structural equation modeling showed that difficulties in emotion regulation explained aggressive and ordinary violations more clearly than lapses and errors. When controlling for interactions among the distinct regulation difficulties, difficulties with impulse control and difficulties engaging in goal-directed behavior predicted risky driving. Furthermore, nonacceptance of emotional responses and limited access to emotion regulation strategies were related to less violations and more driving errors. Conclusion: Emotion regulation difficulties were associated with the self-reported risky driving behaviors of Lithuanian drivers. This provides useful hints for improving driver training programs in order to prevent traffic injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-693
Number of pages6
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • DBQ
  • Difficulties in emotion regulation
  • Driver Behaviour Questionnaire
  • emotion regulation
  • Lithuania
  • risky driving behavior


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