Bus drivers’ mood states and reaction abilities at high temperatures

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, ridership - drivers, ridership - behaviour, planning - surveys


Bus driver, High temperature, Mood states, Reaction abilities


High temperatures can affect a bus driver’s mood states and reaction ability. We used the Profile of Mood States (POMS) scale to measure the effect of temperature on mood. Reaction ability was evaluated by testing speed estimation, choice reaction, and action judgment. Data for the analysis were retrieved from the Harbin public transport survey of July to October 2014. A total of 680 bus drivers participated in the investigation, and 654 questionnaires and 605 test data were collected.

Bus drivers with different characteristics showed different moods and reactions at high temperatures. Young drivers, novice drivers, and drivers who drove for long periods of time without breaks had more negative moods. Continuous driving time had no significant effect on vigor, and all drivers showed low energy. Fatigue increased with continuous driving hours. Older and highly experienced drivers had higher speed estimation accuracy. Speed estimation accuracy and reaction time decreased with sustained driving hours. Before 45 years of age, the number of choice errors increased with age, but no significant changes were found after 45 years of age. Drivers between the ages of 55 and 60 showed the worst response times and the maximum number of errors. Negative moods were negatively correlated with speed estimation accuracy and were positively correlated with the number of choices or judgment errors. The vigor was positively associated with speed estimation accuracy and negatively correlated with the number of judgment errors.

The findings of the current study provide a comprehensive picture of bus drivers’ reaction ability at high temperatures and could help to take targeted measures to reduce the negative impact of heat exposure.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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