Cognition and driving safety: How does the high-speed railway drivers’ cognitive ability affect safety performance?

A relationship between cognitive ability and safety performance in car drivers has been consistently supported in previous literature. However, this relationship has been neglected in research regarding high-speed railway drivers. Drivers play a vital role in ensuring safety operation of high-speed railway in China. Therefore, it is of great significance to predict the impact of cognitive ability and railway driving experience of high-speed railway (HSR) drivers on safety performance. This study uses a standard driving adaptability system to assess driver’s cognitive abilities which predict safety performance in Chinese high-speed railway.154 HSR drivers completed a standardized driving adaptability system test on a display device, which is widely used in the HSR drivers’ selection in China. The driving adaptability system is used to assess attention, multiple reaction ability, learning ability, short-term memory, speed anticipation and performance stability. Thereafter, monthly performance assessment data were collected after cognitive test since they truly reflect the driver's safety performance.Research found that attention, speed anticipation and performance stability were found to positively predict safety performance of HSR drivers. The railway driving experience plays a moderating role in the relationship between speed anticipation and safety performance, performance stability and safety performance. The richer the driver's driving experience, the stronger the effect of speed perception and job stability on safety performance, and vice versa. The results provide new ideas for the selection and management of HSR drivers and the improvement of driver safety performance.


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  • Accession Number: 01717562
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 31 2019 3:05PM