In this paper, the thermal shock induced cracking behavior of a segmented coating on the outer surface of a hollow cylinder has been investigated. The driving force for the propagation of multiple segmentation crack, represented by the Thermal Stress Intensity Factor (TSIF), was determined by combination of the principle of superposition and the finite element method. The maximum TSIF has been shown to occur neither at the beginning nor at the steady state of thermal transients, but at an intermediate instant. As the spacing between multiple segmentation cracks decreases, the magnitude of TSIF first plateaus, and then decreases sharply. This quantitative mechanistic result rationalizes the experimental observations that a segmented coating can exhibit much higher thermal shock resistance than an intact counterpart, if only the segmentation crack spacing is narrow enough. Some other parameters affecting TSIF, such as segmentation crack depth and convection severity, were also discussed.