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An analysis of accident-involved bus drivers using psychological tests and biographical data. Dredge, Vernon Neil

Abstract

More and more, accident studies conclude that accident-involved individuals can be identified by their personal characteristics and background. The problem of this study was to compare drivers who had incurred more than their share of accidents as opposed to drivers with relatively few accidents during a three year period of initial bus driving experience, using psychological tests and biographical data. Nine areas of biographical data and twenty-nine psychological test variables were analyzed from a group of seventy-three bus drivers. This psychological test battery, used at selection time, consisted of the Wonderlic Personnel Test, the American Transit Association Test, the Kuder Preference Record - Vocational, and a personality questionnaire. The top and bottom 20% of drivers in an accident distribution, involving all collisions, were established for comparison. Only four differences were significant dealing with the tests alone. It was found that the low accident bus driver has a higher intelligence factor, although most of the low accident group still fall in the lower average range of the general population. Minimum intelligence test scores were determined for selection purposes. The low accident driver has less interest in social service type of work and is not as strong in tolerance as the high accident driver. Dealing with the biographical data it was found that the low accident driver has been a resident in the city in which he is driving for a longer period of time, has had more previous commercial driving experience, has had fewer jobs in the past and has no recent work history of being in business for himself. Further indications, although lacking required statistical significance, are that the low accident driver tends to have more dependents, a better education, a better credit rating and is more likely to be a home owner. It was determined that the accident pattern forms early in service and that drivers with a record of repeated accidents in any one unit of time would repeat the accidents in another unit of time. It was suggested that a twelve month probationary period be in effect for all drivers. It was also suggested that a re-training program might be effective at the end of twelve months of service especially for those drivers having more than their share of accidents. An important result of this study was to point out the increasing importance of biographical data in determining characteristics of accident-involved bus drivers.

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