Training of tram drivers in workload management - Workload assessment in real life and in a driving/traffic simulator.
Assessed the effects of workload on tram drivers in real driving situations, and studied whether the reduction of workload can be trained. Different levels of workload were identified in a real driving situation using a dual-task paradigm. Tram drivers, trainees, and instructors completed questionnaires describing workload situations, and driving performance as well as the temporal structure of speech activity in a secondary task were measured. Then, a group of tram drivers completed a training program that was aimed at coping abilities, stress prevention, and situational evaluation. Their performance in a high-workload situation was compared before and after training as well as against that of an untrained control group. Results showed that the performance and workload indicators were sensitive to variations of workload. Moreover, compared to a control group, the training group showed significant reductions in the workload indicators, with a high correspondence between performance, behavioral, and subjective data. It is concluded that simulated workload can be sufficiently similar to that experienced in real driving situations to be used for evaluation and training purposes.
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