© 2017 Elsevier Inc. Background The persistence of risky behaviors while driving and traffic accidents despite campaigns to increase awareness suggest that there may be underlying causes that maintain proneness to traffic violations. The aim of the current study was to assess: a) the prevalence of psychopathology in a sample of people who have lost their driving license due to former traffic violations and b) the discriminatory capacity of each psychopathological disorder to differentiate among people with high and low proneness to perform risky behaviors while driving. Methods 383 participants in a course to recover their driving license after its loss due to previous traffic violations were included. The International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.) according to DSM-IV was used to assess psychopathology. Results Between 67% and 76.2% of the participants had been affected by a lifetime psychopathological disorder until the moment of assessment. The most prevalent diagnoses were substance abuse including alcohol (52.5–62.7%), ADHD (19.7–28.5%), depression (7.9–14.4%) and anxiety (3.6–12.4%). Substance abuse and ADHD also showed the strongest set of associations with specific risk behaviors, but ADHD emerged as the most discriminant disorder to distinguish between those people at high and low risk of while driving. Conclusions The results of the current study suggest that addressing psychopathology explicitly to prevent risky behaviors and recidivism while driving would provide benefits in this area.