Truck Driving and Audiobooks

truck driving

Spending long hours on the road can be really tiresome. Aside from trying to stay focused while spending a long time in a seated position, the silence and the lack of company can also have quite a negative effect on our mental well-being.

That’s why many truck drivers choose to resort to various means of entertainment while on the road. Many choose to play some music, others enjoy listening to popular podcasts and there are those that prefer listening to audiobooks instead.

However, while audiobooks are a great means for becoming well-read and contribute to broadening one’s vocabulary, this begs the question of just how distracting they can be. 

Every truck driver should consider safety tips for truck drivers, just to be sure.

The opinions around this topic vary significantly, as some experts state that audiobooks pose an unnecessary distraction while others believe that they actually help improve focus and concentration.

So, before we attempt to deliver any clear answer to this question, let’s first see what happens in our brains when driving and listening to an audiobook.

What’s going on in the brain when driving?

Our brains consist of four major lobes – frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital lobe. Frontal lobe is where our receptors for emotion, memory and impulse control are located. This part of the brain is also in charge of alerting about any possible danger – it’s where our “fight or flight” system response is located. 

The occipital lobe processes any visuals you come across. This part of the brain is in charge of understanding what we see around us.

Parietal lobe is the part of the brain that responds to any type of sensory information that comes our way. This is also the part that’s the most active when stirring or breaking during truck driving, for instance.

The temporal lobe is the part of the brain that responds to auditory input – i.e., traffic sounds, engine sounds, music, audio books and everything else you may hear while on the road.

Needless to say, when driving, your brain uses all of these lobes at the same time. And even though a human brain is a wonderful and amazing thing, it’s not really designed for such a level of multitasking. Add to that the fact that not all of us are equally good at this skill in the first place, and it becomes clear why the opinions about listening to an audiobook while driving are so divided.

Professional vs. nonprofessional drivers

With everything discussed previously, we also need to pay attention to another important factor that may help us reach a conclusion and that’s the difference between professional and nonprofessional drivers.

As a general rule of thumb, professional drivers are simply better at what they do than nonprofessional drivers, and that’s not meant to offend anyone. Simply put, if you’re doing something professionally and you’re doing it for a long time, it’s only natural that you’ll be better at it than others.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that ALL truck drivers are better than ALL nonprofessional drivers, but it can be true for the most part. That’s why nonprofessional drivers do commonly state that they enjoy driving the most when there are no additional distractions involved. On the other hand, the majority of professional drivers don’t find listening to music, podcasts or audiobooks to be all that distracting.

truck driving

So, what’s the conclusion?

Now, knowing all that we’ve previously discussed, you still may be wondering what the final answer is. And you’ll probably be disappointed learning that there simply is no clear-cut answer to whether or not listening to an audiobook is too distracting or not. 

Simply put, it boils down to each individual person’s preferences. If you find it difficult to focus on the road while listening to an audiobook – simply stop doing it and give your favorite book a listen on your time off.

Alternatively, if you’ve tried listening to an audiobook while driving and didn’t notice any negative side effects attention and focus-wise, you might as well explore the offer further and browse various titles you have at your disposal.

Top titles worth checking out

Depending on your personal preferences, you probably already have a list of audiobooks you intend on listening to the next time you hit the road. But if your list is nearing the end and you’re looking for more entertaining titles to keep you company, you might want to check some of these out as well:

  • Stephen King – It
  • George R. R. Martin – A Song of Ice and Fire
  • Neil Gaiman – Norse Mythology
  • Nicholas Sparks – Two by Two
  • Finn Murphy – The Long Haul: A Trucker’s Tales of Life on the Road
  • John McPhee – Uncommon Carriers
  • Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl

Well, that said now you probably have even more motivation to fill out the application or, if you find it easier just contact us!

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