Job stress and emotional exhaustion at work in Spanish workers: Does unhealthy work affect the decision to drive?

Autoři: Francisco Alonso aff001;  Cristina Esteban aff001;  Adela Gonzalez-Marin aff002;  Elisa Alfaro aff003;  Sergio A. Useche aff001
Působiště autorů: DATS (Development and Advising in Traffic Safety) Research Group, INTRAS (University Research Institute on Traffic and Road Safety), University of València, Valencia, Spain aff001;  University Center of Defense (Spanish Air Force Academy), Santiago de la Ribera, Murcia, Spain aff002;  PRECOVIR (Risk Prevention in Road Behavior) Research Group, INTRAS (University Research Institute on Traffic and Road Safety), University of València, Valencia, Spain aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 15(1)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0227328



The purpose of this study was to assess the relationships among the following elements: unhealthy work indicators (job stress and emotional exhaustion at work), the decision to drive (or not), and driving crashes suffered by Spanish workers.


For this cross-sectional study, a full sample of 1,200 Spanish drivers (44% women and 56% men) was used, their mean age being 42.8 years. They answered a questionnaire divided into three sections: demographic and driving-related data; burnout, job stress, and life stress; and self-reported road behaviors and driving safety indicators.


Overall, 41.6% of drivers reported emotional exhaustion at work. Furthermore, 80.2% of the participants showing substantial signs of job stress or exhaustion had experienced one or more important stressful life events during the previous year. Job stress was associated with the number of driving crashes suffered along the last 3 years. Also, and especially in situations where drivers admit not feeling well enough to drive, job stress and emotional exhaustion seem to be independent from the decision to drive, and from perceiving these variables as potential impairers of driving performance.


First of all, this study showed a high prevalence of job stress and emotional exhaustion symptoms experienced at work by Spanish workers. Moreover, significant relationships were found among self-rated driving performance, workplace stress and burnout indicators, which suggests that job stress and emotional exhaustion levels may, indeed, impair driving performance, but they do not influence the decision to drive or not. In other words, even when they are significantly affected by job stress or emotional exhaustion at work, most Spanish drivers still drive.

Klíčová slova:

Behavior – Emotions – Fatigue – Jobs – Psychological stress – Roads – Social systems – Traffic safety


1. Taylor A, Dorn L. Stress, fatigue, health, and risk of road traffic accidents among professional drivers: The contribution of physical inactivity. Public Health. 2006:27: 371–391. doi: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.27.021405.102117 16533122

2. Carrere S, Evans GW, Palsane MN, Rivas M. Job strain and occupational stress among urban public transit operators. J Occup Organ Psych. 1991;64(1): 305–316. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8325.1991.tb00562.x

3. Iacovides A, Fountoulakis KN, Kaprinis S, Kaprinis G. The relationship between job stress, burnout and clinical depression. J Affect Disorders. 2003;75, 209–221. doi: 10.1016/s0165-0327(02)00101-5 12880934

4. Ahola K, Gould R, Virtanen M, Honkonen T, Aromaa A, Lönnqvist J. Occupational burnout as a predictor of disability pension: A population-based cohort study. Occup Environ Med. 2009;66(5): 284–290. doi: 10.1136/oem.2008.038935 19017706

5. Vic Roads Corporation. Medical Review. Available from:

6. Martí-Belda A, Pastor JC, Montoro L, Bosó P, Roca J. Persistent traffic offenders: alcohol consumption and personality as predictors of driving disqualification. Eur J Psychol Appl L. 2019;11(2): 81–92. doi: 10.5093/ejpalc2019a3

7. Alonso F, Esteban C, Calatayud C, Alamar B, Egido A. Salud Vial. Teoría y prácticas de los trastornos físicos y psíquicos en la conducción. Barcelona: Attitudes; 2008.

8. Weiten W, Dunn DS, Hammer EY. Psychology applied to modern life. Adjustment in the 21st century. Belmont: Wadsworth; 2006.

9. NIOSH. Stress …At Work. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Public Health Service. Cincinnati: U.S. Department of Health and Human Service; 1999.

10. Li F, Wang G, Li Y, Zhou R. Job demands and driving anger: The roles of emotional exhaustion and work engagement. Accid Anal Prev. 2017;98: 198–205. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2016.10.013 27760407

11. Montoro L, Useche S, Alonso F, Cendales B. Work Environment, Stress, and Driving Anger: A Structural Equation Model for Predicting Traffic Sanctions of Public Transport Drivers. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018; 15(3): E497. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15030497 29534530

12. Siegrist J. Adverse health effects of high-effort/low-reward conditions. J Occup Health Psych. 1996;1: 27–41; doi: 10.1037/1076-8998.1.1.27

13. Siegrist J, Li J. Associations of Extrinsic and Intrinsic Components of Work Stress with Health: A Systematic Review of Evidence on the Effort-Reward Imbalance Model. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016;13(4): 432. doi: 10.3390/ijerph13040432 27104548

14. Kuper H, Singh-Manoux A, Siegrist J, Marmot M. When reciprocity fails: effort-reward imbalance in relation to coronary heart disease and health functioning within the Whitehall II study. Occup Environ Med. 2002;59(11): 777–784. doi: 10.1136/oem.59.11.777 12409537

15. Pikhart H, Bobak M, Pajak A, Malyutina S, Kubinova R, Topor R, et al. Psychosocial factors at work and depression in three countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Soc Sci Med. 2004;58(8): 1475–1482. doi: 10.1016/S0277-9536(03)00350-2 14759691

16. Sanderson K, Andrews G. Common mental disorders in the workforce: recent findings from descriptive and social epidemiology. Canadian J Psychiat. 2006;51(2): 63–75.

17. Smith LA, Roman A, Dollard MF, Winefield AH, Siegrist J. Effort-reward imbalance at work: the effects of work stress on anger and cardiovascular disease symptoms in a community sample. Stress Health. 2005;21(2): 113–128. doi: 10.1002/smi.1045

18. Gee GC, Takeuchi DT. Traffic stress, vehicular burden and wellbeing: a multilevel analysis. Soc Sci Med. 2004:59: 405–414. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2003.10.027 15110429

19. Karasek R. Demand/Control model: A social, emotional, and physiological approach to stress risk and active behavior development. ILO Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety. 4th edition. Geneva: Princeton; 1998.

20. Cendales B, Useche S, Gómez V, Bocarejo JP. Bus Operators’ Responses to Job Strain: An Experimental Test of the Job Demand–Control Model. J Occup Health Psych. 2016;22(4): 518–527. doi: 10.1037/ocp0000040 27214600

21. Salavecz G. The association between work stress and health on a national and international samples. Budapest: Semmelweis Univesity; 2001.

22. McLinton SS, Dollard MF. Work stress and driving anger in Japan. Accident Anal Prev. 2010;42: 174–181. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2009.07.016 19887158

23. Derryberry D. Emotional influences on evaluative judgments: roles of arousal, attention and spreading activation. Motiv Emotion. 1988;12(1): 23–55. doi: 10.1007/BF00992471

24. Hoggan BL, Dollard MF. Effort-reward imbalance at work and driving anger in an Australian community sample: is there a link between work stress and road rage? Accid Anal Prev. 2007;39(6): 1286–1295. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2007.03.014 17920853

25. Oyeleke JT, Bada V, Ajibewa OD. Socio-demographic factors, personality traits and job stress as predictors of driving anger behavior among drivers in Ijebuode, Nigeria. Int J Hum Social Sci. 2016;6: 162–169

26. Pereira-Lima K, Loureiro SR. Burnout, anxiety, depression, and social skills in medical residents. Psychology, Health & Medicine. 2015;20(3): 353–362. doi: 10.1080/13548506.2014.936889 25030412

27. Schonfeld IS, Bianchi R. Burnout and Depression: Two Entities or One? Journal of Clinical Psychology. 2016;72(1): 22–37. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22229 26451877

28. Khamisa N, Peltzer K, Oldenburg B. Burnout in Relation to Specific Contributing Factors and Health Outcomes among Nurses: A Systematic Review. Int J Env Res Public Health. 2013;10(6): 2214–2240. doi: 10.3390/ijerph10062214 23727902

29. Komissarova EM, Ermakova MA. Characteristics of arterial hypertension in psychoemotional burnout of emergency medical staffers. Meditsina Truda I Promyshlennaia Ekologiia. 2011;10: 19–23.

30. Huerta-Franco MR, Vargas-Luna M, Tienda P, Delgadillo-Holtfort I, Balleza-Ordaz M, Flores-Hernandez C. Effects of occupational stress on the gastrointestinal tract. World J Gastrointest Pathophysiol. 2013;4(4): 108–118. doi: 10.4291/wjgp.v4.i4.108 24244879

31. Hege A, Lemke MK, Apostolopoulos Y, Sönmez S. (2018). Occupational health disparities among U.S. long-haul truck drivers: the influence of work organization and sleep on cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk. PLoS ONE. 2018;13(11): e0207322. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0207322 30439996

32. Huibers M, Beurskens A, Prins J, Kant I, Bazelmans E, van Schayck CP, et al. Fatigue, burnout, and chronic fatigue syndrome among employees on sick leave: do attributions make the difference? Occup Environ Med. 2003;60(1): i26–i31. doi: 10.1136/oem.60.suppl_1.i26 12782744

33. Shad R, Thawani R, Goel A. Burnout and Sleep Quality: A Cross-Sectional Questionnaire-Based Study of Medical and Non-Medical Students in India. Cureus,2015, 7(10), e361. doi: 10.7759/cureus.361 26623216

34. Philip P, Sagasge P, Moore N, Taillard J, Horne JA. Fatigue, sleep restriction and driving performance. Accid Anal Prev. 2005;37: 473–478. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2004.07.007 15784201

35. Pagnin D, De Queiroz V, Carvalho YT, Dutra AS, Amaral MB, Queiroz TT. The relation between burnout and sleep disorders in medical students. Acad Psychiatr. 2014;38(4): 438–444. doi: 10.1007/s40596-014-0093-z 24683060

36. Demerouti E, Bakker AB, Leiter M. Burnout and job performance: the moderating role of selection, optimization, and compensation strategies. J Occup Health Psych. 2014;19(1): 96–107. doi: 10.1037/a0035062 24447224

37. Kee S, Mohd SB, Goh YM. Driving Fatigue and Performance among Occupational Drivers in Simulated Prolonged Driving. Glob J Health Sci. 2010;2(1): 167–177. doi: 10.5539/gjhs.v2n1p167

38. Ahola K, Toppinen-Tanner S, Huuhtanen PA, Koskinen A, Väänänen A. Occupational burnout and chronic work disability: An eight-year cohort study on pensioning among Finnish forest industry workers. J Affect Disorders. 2009;115(1–2): 150–159. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2008.09.021 18945493

39. Garrosa-Hernández E, Moreno-Jiménez B, Liang Y, González-Gutiérrez JL. The relationship between sociodemographic variables, job stressors, burnout, and hardy personality in nurses: an exploratory study. Int J Nurs Stud. 2008; 45(3): 418–427. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2006.09.003 17109862

40. Semeijn J, de Waard B, Lambrechts W, Semeijn J. Burning Rubber or Burning out? The Influence of Role Stressors on Burnout among Truck Drivers. Logistics. 2019;3: 6. doi: 10.3390/logistics3010006

41. LeMay SA, Johnson L, Williams Z, Garver M. The causes of truck driver intent-to-quit: A best-fit regression model. Int J Commer Manag. 2013; 23: 262–272

42. Chen F, Song M, Ma X. Investigation on the Injury Severity of Drivers in Rear-End Collisions Between Cars Using a Random Parameters Bivariate Ordered Probit Model. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(14): 2632. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16142632 31340600

43. Useche S, Alonso F, Cendales B, Autukevičiūtė R, Serge A. Burnout, Job strain and road accidents in the field of public transportation: The case of city bus drivers. J Environ Occup Sci. 2017;6(1): 1–7. doi: 10.5455/jeos.20170202074636

44. Awa WL, Plaumann M, Walter U. Burnout prevention: a review of intervention programs. Patient Educ Couns. 2010;78(2): 184–90. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2009.04.008 19467822

45. SWOV. Emotions and traffic. Research Activities. Amsterdam: Institute for Road Safety. Research (SWOV); 2005.

46. Useche S, Gómez V, Cendales B. Stress-related Psychosocial Factors at Work, Fatigue, and Risky Driving Behavior in Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) Drivers. Accid Anal Prev. 2017;104: 106–114. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2017.04.023 28494258

47. Reason JT, Manstead ASR, Stradling SG, Baxter JS, Campbell K. Errors and violations on the road: A real distinction? Ergonomics. 1990;33: 1315–1322. doi: 10.1080/00140139008925335 20073122

48. Aberg L, Wallen H. Speeding-deliberate violation or involuntary mistake? Eur Rev Appl Psychol. 2008;58: 23–30. doi: 10.1016/j.erap.2005.09.014

49. Alonso F, Esteban C, Useche S, Faus M. Prevalence and Perception of Depressive Symptomatology Among Spanish Drivers and Its Relation to Driving Safety. Int J Psychol Brain Sci. 2016;1(3): 54–61. doi: 10.11648/j.ijpbs.20160103.13

50. Maslach C, Jackson SE. Maslach burnout inventory. Manual Research Edition. University of California. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologist Press; 1986.

51. Siegrist J. Effort-reward imbalance at work and health. In: Ganster D, Perrewe P (eds.). Historical and current perspectives on stress and health. Volume 2. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Ltd; 2002. pp. 261–291

52. Holmes TH, Rahe RH. The Social Readjustment Rating Scale. J Psychosom Res. 1967;11(2): 213–218. doi: 10.1016/0022-3999(67)90010-4 6059863

53. Van Vegchel N, De Jonge J, Bosma H, Schaufeli W. Reviewing the effort-reward imbalance model: drawing up the balance of 45 empirical studies. Soc Sci Med. 2005;60: 1117–1131. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.06.043 15589679

54. Theorell T. How to do deal with stress in organizations? A health perspective on theory and practice. Scand J Work Env Health. 1999;25(6): 616–624.

55. Halbesleben JRB, Bowler WM. Emotional exhaustion and job performance: The mediating role of motivation. J Appli Psychol. 2007;92(1): 93–106. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.92.1.93 17227154

56. Schnall PL, Landsbergis PA, Pickering TG, Schwartz JE. Perceived job stress, job strain, and hypertension. Am J Public Health. 1994;84(2): 320–321. doi: 10.2105/ajph.84.2.320 8296968

57. Cendales B, Useche S, Gómez V. Psychosocial Work Factors, Blood Pressure and Psychological Strain in Male Bus Operators. Ind Health. 2014;52(4): 279–288. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.2013-0156 24869893

58. Sánchez F. Actitudes frente al riesgo vial [Attitudes Towards Road Risks]. Psychosocial Intervention. 2008;17(1): 45–59.

59. Chen F, Chen S. Injury severities of truck drivers in single- and multi-vehicle accidents on rural highways. Accid Anal Prev. 2011;43(5): 1677–1688. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2011.03.026 21658494

60. Useche SA, Cendales B, Gómez V. Work stress, fatigue and Risk Behaviors at the Wheel: Data to assess the association between psychosocial work factors and risky driving on Bus Rapid Transit drivers. Data Brief. 2017;15C: 335–339. doi: 10.1016/j.dib.2017.09.032 29214195

61. Charbotel B, Chiron M, Martin JL, Bergeret A. Work-related road crashes in France. Eur J Epidemiol. 2001;17(8): 773–778. doi: 10.1023/a:1015667114529 12086096

62. Xu J, Wali B, Li X, Yang J. Injury Severity and Contributing Driver Actions in Passenger Vehicle-Truck Collisions. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(19): 3542. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16193542 31546688

63. Perinelli E, Gremigni P. Use of Social Desirability Scales in Clinical Psychology: A Systematic Review. J Clin Psychol. 2016;72(6): 534–551. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22284 26970350

64. Podsakoff PM, MacKenzie SB, Lee JY, Podsakoff NP. Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. J Applied Psychol. 2003;88(5): 879–903. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.88.5.879 14516251

Článek vyšel v časopise


2020 Číslo 1