Bus drivers working hours and the relationship to driver fatigue

Bus drivers often have irregular working hours like split shifts and their work involve high levels of stress. These factors can lead to severe sleepiness and dangerous driving. The purpose of this study is to highlight how split shifts affect sleepiness and performance during afternoon drive. The study is an experiment on real road with an equipped bus driven by professional bus drivers. The study design is a within subject design and the 18 professional bus drivers (9 males and 9 females) drove twice during afternoon; once after a day with bus driving in the morning and once after a day when they had been off duty the whole day. The hypotheses was that split shifts contribute to sleepiness during afternoon, which together can result in increased safety risks. The overall results support this hypotheses. In total five out of 18 drivers reached levels of severe sleepiness (Karolinska Sleepiness Scale ≥ 8) with an average increase in KSS of 1,94 driving in the afternoon the day that preceded with bus driving in the morning compared to the day off duty in the morning, an increase corresponding to the levels of shift workers comparing start and end of a night shift. The Psychomotor Vigilance Task showed significant increased Response Time with split shift (afternoon: 0.337s; split shift 0.347s), so did also the EEG based KDS mean/max. Blink duration also increased, even though the difference was not significant. One driver fell asleep during the drive. In addition, 12 of the 18 bus drivers reported that they in their daily work had to fight to stay awake while driving the bus at least 2-4 times per month.  Even though the study showed significant induvial differences, it is clear that the bus drivers had to fight to stay awake and countermeasures are needed in order to guarantee safe driving under split shift schedules.

LATEST NEWS


2017-11-30

Millions for research into maritime transport and the environment

Maritime transport is a major source of emissions of harmful air pollutants and carbon dioxide. In a new project, a research team from the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) and the University of Gothenburg has received SEK 6.4...


2017-11-30

New research programme for more efficient travel

The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) is playing an important role in a major new research programme to find radical solutions leading to fewer trips and more efficient travel, along with tools to enable better use of roads and...


2017-11-30

Simulator used to practice emergency responses safely

Emergency responses of the police, ambulance, and rescue services are associated with a high risk of accidents, but practicing them in real traffic is neither safe nor permissible. A simulator-based method developed by the Swedish National Road and Transport...


2017-10-26

Simulation of cut-in by manually driven vehicles in platooning scenarios

A study in a VTI-driving simulator has showed that a platoon will be able to handle a cut in from a manually driven car. The results of this study have recently been presented at two conferences in Japan.


2017-10-16

ERPUG Forum

The five-year anniversary of European Road Profile Users' Group (ERPUG) Forum will take place at Ramboll head quarter, Copenhagen, Denmark October 19-20, 2017.


2017-09-29

Self-driving buses in Sweden next year?

A self-driving, fossil-free bus. This idea might become reality through a forthcoming collaborative project involving the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI), Linköping University and several other participants. The project group aim...