Conference Proceeding

Overestimation of Skills Affects Drivers’ Adaptation to Task Demands

  • Saskia de Craen (SWOV, Institute for Road Safety Research, Netherlands)
  • Divera A M Twisk (SWOV, Institute for Road Safety Research, Netherlands)
  • Marjan P Hagenzieker (SWOV, Institute for Road Safety Research, Netherlands)
  • Henk Elffers (NSCR, Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement Leiden, the Netherlands)
  • Karel A Brookhuis (Delft University of Technology, Netherlands)


Inadequate self-assessment, and specifically, overestimation of skill, results in insufficient adaptation to task demands, which can manifest itself on different levels of the driving task. A total of 130 drivers (83 novice and 47 experienced drivers) participated in an on-road driving assessment. Their performance in this assessment (i.e., fail or pass) was compared to the participants’ reported confidence in their driving skills (i.e., high or low confidence), resulting in three calibration groups: a) well-calibrated drivers (reported confidence matched performance on assessment), b) overconfident drivers (high confidence but failed assessment) and c) insecure drivers (low confidence but passed assessment). Furthermore, participants completed a questionnaire which focused on choices made on the strategic and manoeuvring level of the driving task. No significant difference was found between the calibration groups for the strategic level. Overconfident drivers reported significantly more violating behaviour than the well-calibrated and the insecure drivers. At the manoeuvring level, overconfident drivers showed significantly less instances of adaptation to traffic complexity. In conclusion, the current study suggests that overconfidence is related to inadequate adaptation to task demands.

How to Cite:

de Craen, S. & Twisk, D. & Hagenzieker, M. & Elffers, H. & Brookhuis, K., (2007) “Overestimation of Skills Affects Drivers’ Adaptation to Task Demands”, Driving Assessment Conference 4(2007), 39-45. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2007 the author(s)

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Published on
10 Jul 2007
Peer Reviewed