2011 Volume 87 Issue 5 Pages 173-185
In this study, we examine the aftereffects of the train radio communication system, which is not directly related to a train driver’s duties, on task performance. In the experiment, participants were made to perform simulated visual tasks associated with train driving (tracking task/signal monitoring task/mental calculation task) while train messages were simultaneously being transmitted. We found that the participants’ reaction times for the signal monitoring task were shorter after important messages from a preceding train were transmitted on the train radio, as compared to cases where important messages were transmitted from a following train. The result reveals that train drivers expect abrupt changes in railway signaling and attend to the corresponding signal in advance. Therefore, it seems reasonable to conclude that they make effective use of important train radio messages to aid them in train driving.