Personality and Individual Differences
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Background We previously reported that in traffic offenders aged 19–39 years, different risky driving profiles were associated with unique personality, cognitive, and neurobiological characteristics. However, many of these characteristics evolve significantly with age. Secondary analysis on these data explored whether the characteristics associated with different risky driving profiles were influenced by driver age. Methods Data (N = 138) on three driving groups (i.e., alcohol impaired [DWI], reckless [SPEED], and impaired and reckless [MIXED]), and a low-risk control group [CTL] were stratified by age (younger: 19–28; older: 29–39). Younger and older drivers of each risky driving group were compared to their age-matched CTLs on driving simulation, personality, and cognitive control. Results In DWI, elevated behavioural disinhibition was observed only in older drivers. In MIXED, elevated reward sensitivity and risky driving behaviour were seen only in older drivers. In SPEED, greater risky driving and lower agreeableness personality were only seen in young drivers, while elevated sensation seeking and risk taking were observed only in older drivers. Discussion Unique processes predominate in distinct forms of risky driving behaviour at different developmental stages. More effective prevention strategies may require intervention tailoring based on both risky driving preference and age.