Repeat Traffic Offenders Improve Their Performance in Risky Driving Situations and Have Fewer Accidents Following a Mindfulness-Based Intervention
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AuthorMas Cuesta, Laura; Baltruschat, Sabina; Cándido Ortiz, Antonio; Maldonado López, Antonio; Verdejo Lucas, Carmen; Catena Verdejo, Elvira; Catena Martínez, Andrés
FRONTIERS MEDIA SA
MindfulnessRisk-takingRepeat traffic offenderEmotion regulationAttention regulation
Baltruschat S, Mas-Cuesta L, Cándido A, Maldonado A, Verdejo-Lucas C, Catena-Verdejo E and Catena A (2021) Repeat Traffic Offenders Improve Their Performance in Risky Driving Situations and Have Fewer Accidents Following a Mindfulness-Based Intervention. Front. Psychol. 11:567278. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.567278
SponsorshipSpanish Ministry of Economy, Industry, and Competitiveness PSI2016-80558-R
Risky decision-making is highly influenced by emotions and can lead to fatal consequences. Attempts to reduce risk-taking include the use of mindfulness-based interventions (MBI), which have shown promising results for both emotion regulation (ER) and risk-taking. However, it is still unclear whether improved emotion regulation is the mechanism responsible for reduced risk-taking. In the present study, we explore the effect of a 5-week MBI on risky driving in a group of repeat traffic offenders by comparing them with non-repeat offenders and repeat offenders without training. We evaluated the driving behavior of the participants through a driving simulation, and self-reported emotion regulation, both before and after the intervention. At baseline, poor emotion regulation was related to a more unstable driving behavior, and speeding. The group that received mindfulness training showed improved performance during risky driving situations and had fewer accidents, although their overall driving behavior remained largely unchanged. The observed trend toward improved emotion regulation was not significant. We discuss whether other effects of MBI – such as self-regulation of attention – could underlie the observed reduction in risky driving in the initial stages. Nonetheless, our findings still confirm the close relationship between emotion regulation skills and risky driving.