Welcome to the World of Traffic Psychology

Traffic
Straßenverkehr

Are you familiar with alcohol, drugs, and traffic violations? Purely professionally, of course. Are the abbreviations DT, RT, ATAVT, COG  et cetera as familiar to you as your own name? Then perhaps the following blog articles will bring a breath of fresh air into your daily work routine. 

Traffic psychology - what are you?

Even though the term "traffic psychology" seems quite clear to many of us at first glance, it is used internationally quite heterogeneously. Not everything that is called traffic psychology internationally would be understood as such in German-speaking countries. On the one hand, there are countries in which psychologists examine fitness to drive, but the actual profession of traffic psychologist does not even exist due to a lack of postgraduate qualifications. On the other hand, there are countries in which the profession of traffic psychologist does exist, but they work in other areas than is usual in German-speaking countries. Such areas would be, for example, personnel selection of professional drivers, or the determination of fitness to drive after neurological acute events such as traumatic brain injuries, but not in assessments of classic alcohol or drug issues.

The areas of application are also different. In primary prevention, for example, it is about the traffic psychological aptitude test for obtaining a certain driver's license class. Secondary prevention involves for instance relapse prevention from traffic violations. Tertiary prevention deals with regaining fitness to drive. Just as heterogeneous as the fields of application and areas of use are the professional qualifications, as well as the legal basis and the required quality criteria, and consequently vary from country to country. However, the purpose of traffic psychological assessment is common to all countries, namely, to increase traffic safety. 

In our new blog series Welcome to the World of Traffic Psychology, we want to look at other countries to understand how traffic psychological assessments are conducted elsewhere. To do this, we have invited guest authors from different countries to introduce us to what they do. Stay tuned and join us on a world tour through traffic psychological assessments!