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Predicting safe driving behavior of professional bus drivers: Validation of psychometric tests using actual driving performance

Sch√ľnemann, A, Gatscha, M, Herle, M, Mandler, G, Tuulia, M, Vetter, M

Driver Psychology / Human Factors

ARSC conference 2015

Human factors models of driving behavior often include psychomotor abilities, cognitive abilities and personality dimensions as key human attributes associated with safe driving. The present study evaluates the effectiveness of psychometric tests of these key attributes in predicting safe and effective driving performance by experienced bus drivers._x000D_

A test battery consisting of safety critical ability and personality tests was administered to 125 professional bus drivers during routine driver safety training. Participants drove a passenger bus under three real time driving scenarios: 1) typical road driving (without critical incidents), 2) a "dangerous situations" hazard course (involving traffic incidents), and 3) manoeuvring buses in confined spaces. Expert driving assessors scored the performance of drivers using objective and subjective criteria for each scenario (e.g. errors, speed, traffic cones moved and situational based grading). Further, a GPS-based G-Force-logging device measured physical vehicle dynamics including lateral and vertical jerking, acceleration speed, and cornering forces. _x000D_

Statistical analyses of results indicate that different combinations of ability and personality dimensions are relevant for different safe driving scenarios. For typical road driving situations, concentration, reaction time and safety relevant aspects of personality were significantly predictive of safe driving performance. For dangerous driving situations involving traffic hazards, measures of stress tolerance and visual perception were most significant. For bus driving in confined spaces, logical reasoning and planning skills which allow the execution of complex driving manoeuvres were most significant. Overall the results demonstrate the validity and utility of targeted psychometric testing in the recruitment and training of professional drivers._x000D_