COLUMBIA, Mo. — Saving bar patrons’ time on their commute home could save lives. A pair of studies by University of Missouri psychologists found that people who reported drinking and driving also exhibited “urgency,” or a lack of emotional self-control, especially while drinking. This suggests that some people when intoxicated may be more likely to choose the convenience of driving themselves home instead of waiting for a taxi, said Denis McCarthy, associate professor of psychology at MU.
“Our study correlated urgency, a specific type of impulsivity, to drinking and driving,” McCarthy said. “Individuals with a high degree of urgency tend to act impulsively when they are in both positive and negative emotional states. By looking at personality traits that correlate with drinking and driving, we can help people understand how their personalities might incline them to choose the risk of driving after drinking. Once a person knows this, they can decide to take extra care to moderate their drinking or be prepared to call a cab, hop on a bus or ask a designated driver for help.” (more…)