Playing it safe: A literature review and research agenda on motivational technologies in transportation safety

Eetu Wallius (Corresponding Author), Ana Carolina Tomé Klock, Juho Hamari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


While motivation affects safety-related decision-making and human reliability, technologies to promote it are scarcely used. We have only recently witnessed how motivational technologies, including serious games, gamification, and persuasive technologies have emerged on the palette of methods for enhancing transportation safety. However, the research on these technologies for transportation safety is fragmented, preventing future studies and practical efforts. This paper describes the state-of-the-art through a systematic review to address this issue. Analyzing 62 studies, we perceive that motivational technologies focus on reducing the accident likelihood and mitigating their consequences. While these technologies can induce positive psychological change and improve learning, the evidence of behavioral change is mainly limited to simulation settings, lacking examination of the long-term benefits and potential adverse effects. Our results highlight the importance of aligning motivational design with the cognitive demand of the transportation task and the means for improving safety. Future research should explore how motivational technologies can enhance safety from the system design perspective, cover a broader scope of transportation modes, compare their effects to conventional approaches while considering social aspects in their design and evaluation. Besides providing an overview of the area and future directions, this paper also introduces design recommendations to guide practitioners.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108514
JournalReliability Engineering and System Safety
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Gamification
  • Persuasive technology
  • Safety
  • Serious game
  • Simulation game
  • Transportation


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