Psychological factors contributing to unsafe behavior in train drivers

Ryo Misawa, Ken Inadomi, Hiroyuki Yamaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research considered whether unsafe behaviors increase the likelihood of accident on the railway, and if so, what psychological factors contribute to unsafe behaviors? Study 1 investigated how frequently train drivers had committed errors and unsafe behaviors when train accidents occurred. Content analysis on 251 cases of railway accident reports revealed that intention errors (i.e., no intention or wrong one) and unsafe behaviors occurred simultaneously in most cases of accident. Furthermore, it was suggested that unsafe behaviors contribute to the occurrence of accidents. Study 2 examined the effect of psychological factors on unsafe behaviors. 148 train drivers completed questionnaires. We assumed the causal model that organizational factors affect unsafe behaviors indirectly through personal factors. Results of path analysis revealed as follows, (a) Concerning personal factors, evaluated cost (e.g., increased workload) and ineffectiveness of safety rules increased the frequency of unsafe behavior, (b) Concerning organizational factors, organizational management and norms increased the frequency of unsafe behavior indirectly through their effects on personal factors. Based on these findings, we discussed implications for more effective accident prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-140
Number of pages9
JournalShinrigaku Kenkyu
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)


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