Bus driver well being review: 50 years of research

J. Tse, Rhona Flin, Kathryn Jane Mearns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

217 Citations (Scopus)


This review paper consolidates the key research on the occupational health of urban bus drivers since the 1950s. Several electronic databases were searched and 27 key studies were identified, which form the basis of this paper. Early findings that bus drivers are liable to suffer ill health as a result of the job remain true today. The research has, however, demonstrated a greater understanding that specific stressors result in certain physical (cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders, musculoskeletal problems, fatigue), psychological (depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder) and behavioural outcomes (substance abuse). Bus driver ill health will have consequences for organisational performance in terms of employee absence, labour turnover and accidents. Stressors for bus drivers include poor cabin ergonomics, rotating shift patterns and inflexible running times. Over the last few decades, the heightening of other work stressors such as traffic, and violence from passengers have compounded the situation for bus drivers. Greater attention to salient moderating and mediating variables in the stressor-strain relationship is featuring in more recent research. Despite such theoretical advances, the research needs to also concentrate on practical interventions that are systematically implemented and evaluated, to improve the well-being of bus drivers. By improving this 'human side' of the role, it is expected that the efficiency of this transport will be enhanced for bus drivers, operators and passengers alike. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-114
Number of pages25
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


  • occupational health
  • well-being
  • stress
  • bus drivers
  • organisational impact
  • review
  • coronary-heart-disease
  • public-transit operators
  • job strain
  • myocardial-infarction
  • professional drivers
  • occupational stress
  • traffic congestion
  • follow-up
  • tramway employees
  • work-environment


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