Periodic Psychological Examination of Train Drivers' Fitness in Belgium: Deficits Observed and Efficacy of the Screening Procedure

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We report on a procedure for early detection of individual psychological deficits that adversely influence cognitive driving abilities in train drivers.


Records of 1266 train drivers sent for recertification examination in 2012 and 2013 were reviewed. Performance on attention and memory tests in the first step of the procedure, and results of extended psychological examination for those not succeeded, are described.


Nine percent of train drivers were referred for extended psychological examination; 1.5% was considered unfit for driving. Most frequently, the background was a sleep disorder, intolerance for irregular working hours, psychosocial stress, and depression.


Periodic psychological examinations allow the detection of relevant deficits in functioning in a substantial portion of train drivers. The stepwise procedure adds to the feasibility of such examinations in large groups of professional drivers.

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