Are you a mindful driver? A review of the potential explanatory value of mindfulness in predicting speeding behaviour
Mindfulness is a concept which has been widely used in studies on consciousness, but has recently been applied to the understanding of behaviours in other areas, including clinical psychology, meditation, physical activity, education and business. It has been suggested that mindfulness can also be applied to road safety, though this has not yet been researched. A standard definition of mindfulness is ‘paying attention in a particular way, on purpose in the present moment and non-judgemental to the unfolding of experience moment by moment’ . Scales have been developed to measure mindfulness; however, there are different views in the literature on the nature of the mindfulness construct. This paper reviews the issues raised in the literature and arrives at an operational definition of mindfulness considered relevant to road safety. It is further proposed that mindfulness is best construed as operating together with other psychosocial factors to influence road safety behaviours. The specific case of speeding behaviour is outlined, where the psychosocial variables in the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) have been demonstrated to predict both intention to speed and actual speeding behaviour. A role is proposed for mindfulness in enhancing the explanatory and predictive powers of the TPB concerning speeding. The implications of mindfulness for speeding countermeasures are discussed and a program of future research is outlined.