Accepted: 31 January 2018
Relationships of working conditions, health problems and
vehicle accidents in bus rapid transit (BRT) drivers
Viviola Gómez-Ortiz PhD
Sergio Useche Ps, MA
Juan P. Bocarejo PhD
Department of Psychology, School of Social
Sciences, University of Los Andes, Bogotá,
School of Economic and Administrative
Sciences, El Bosque University, Bogotá,
University Research Institute on Traffic and
Road Safety (INTRAS), University of Valencia,
Department of Civil Engineering, School of
Engineering, University of Los Andes, Bogotá,
Viviola Gómez-Ortiz, PhD, Department of
Psychology, School of Social Sciences,
University of los Andes, Carrera 1 No. 18A-
12, Bogotá, Colombia.
Vice Presidency for Research at Universidad
de los Andes (Colombia)
Background: The aim of this study was toestimateaccidentriskrates and mental health
of bus rapid transit (BRT) drivers based on psychosocial risk factors at work leading to
increased stress and health problems.
Methods: A cross-sectional research design utilized a self-report questionnaire
completed by 524 BRT drivers.
Results: Some working conditions of BRT drivers (lack of social support from
supervisors and perceived potential for risk) may partially explain Bogota's BRT drivers’
involvement in road accidents. Drivers’ mental health problems were associated with
higher job strain, less support from co-workers, fewer rewards and greater signal
conflict while driving.
Conclusions: To prevent bus accidents, supervisory support may need to be increased.
To prevent mental health problems, other interventions may be needed such as
reducing demands, increasing job control, reducing amount of incoming information,
simplifying current signals, making signals less contradictory, and revising rewards.
accidents, BRT drivers, job stress, mental health, occupational health
Bus rapid transit (BRT) systems (eg, the Transmilenio system in Bogota)
are a growing means of transportation globally.
gathered over the past 50 years indicates that, compared to other
occupational groups, commercial or professional drivers, in general,
have a greater risk of suffering chronic cardiovascular, musculo-
skeletal, and gastrointestinal diseases, obesity, and hypertension, as
well as mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, and post-
traumatic stress disorder due to traffic accidents and working
Futhermore, considering the strong similarity between
working conditions of BRT drivers and other groups of commercial
drivers (eg, city and intercity bus drivers, and cargo carrier drivers), it is
possible that BRT drivers, like commercial drivers, face risk factors for
accidents such as monotonous conditions, bad roads, consumption of
CNS stimulants, age as well as work stressors such as time pressures,
time-binding, shift-work, high physical and mental demands, and job
BRT drivers in Bogotá drive in somewhat different conditions than
other urban bus drivers (eg, they have an exclusive bus lane and they
don’t receive money from the passengers), so one would expect for
their conditions to be more favorable. On the other hand, they are
often exposed to other sources of psychosocial stress such as strict
external control and massive passenger flows. It is known, specifically,
that stress associated with professional driving is associated with
aberrant driving behaviors and fatigue,
which in turn can be related
to road accidents.
However, there is a notable lack of research
Institution at which the work was performed: University of Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia.
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/ajim Am J Ind Med. 2018;61:336–343.