When work is your passenger: Understanding the relationship between work and commuting safety behaviors

J Occup Health Psychol. 2020 Aug;25(4):259-274. doi: 10.1037/ocp0000176. Epub 2019 Dec 12.


For those who commute to and from work on a daily basis, this is an activity that requires attention to both what one is doing and the environment, in order for the commute to be done safely. Although research has shown that work can spill over into home and other nonwork domains, little attention has been paid to the impact that work may have on the transition time between one's work and nonwork domains. The present study sought to examine the relationship between end-of-day job strain and commuting stress with the safety of one's commute through the experience of work-related rumination. Data were collected via daily diaries administered over 2 working weeks (i.e., 10 days) from employees (N = 106) who worked full-time and commuted by private vehicle on a daily basis. Using a daily diary approach allowed for the examination of intraindividual variability in the study constructs of interest, in an effort to understand the dynamics of the hypothesized phenomena. Results indicate that at the intraindividual level, job strain spills over to impact safety behaviors while commuting, mediated by the experiences of work-related affective rumination, and commuting stress impacts safety behaviors during the commute. Findings suggest that the spillover between one's work experiences into the commute have the potential to impair the safety of employees outside the workplace. Future research and implications for practice are discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Occupational Health
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transportation*
  • Workplace / psychology*