Many drivers use music to help them stay awake. Truckers probably do this more than most because they spend far more hours driving than most people.
Can music help someone stay awake at the wheel?
A recent study looked at how music affected fatigued long-distance drivers. The study is limited due to the small sample size and other factors, but the results are still interesting. Here is what it found:
- Slow-tempo music: Improves attention for a short time but increases fatigue and reduces attention in the long-term
- Medium-tempo music: It both improves attention and lessens fatigue in the long run
- Fast-tempo music: It reduces attention in the short and long term and decreases long-term fatigue
Music can affect people in different ways
Think about your favorite song and how it makes you feel. That same song might make your partner, child or friend feel very differently – like they want to kill you if you play it one more time, for instance.
So despite the attempts of airport lounge owners and elevator operators to find songs that affect us all in a certain way, there is no magical choice of music to stop drivers of 18-wheelers from falling asleep.
Drivers need to be aware of how they are feeling
If they feel tired, they should stop and rest. Measures such as drinking coffee, opening the windows and changing the music can never replace sleep and rest. If a tired truck driver injured you in a crash, remember that they had a choice, and they decided to keep going. Get legal help to hold them to account for their poor decision and claim the compensation you need.