My niece introduced me to podcasts on a recent trip from Melbourne to Brisbane and back. She told me that my taste in country music was not up to par and that I should try listening to podcasts instead. Intrigued, I decided to give them a go.
On the way to Sydney, I listened to a mix of country, pop, and chart-topping hits, but I found myself feeling drowsy and needing to stop frequently to stretch and refocus. Once my niece was in the car, and had introduced me to this, it was on like donkey kong.
I looked into some studies that suggested informative podcasts on news, politics, and personal development are best for staying focused on the road, where my personal experience has been the opposite. I found that true crime and comedy podcasts kept me entertained, alert, and laughing out loud, making me more active and awake while driving.
My niece’s first recommendation was true crime, which was okay, but then she introduced me to real-life and comedy podcasts like The Basement Yard and Ladies & Tangents, which we couldn’t stop listening and laughing to.
Funnily enough, whilst looking at studies about podcasts and driving, I discovered that apparently listening to podcasts for more than an hour can lead to fatigue and drowsiness, but I found that hour-long podcasts kept me mentally engaged and laughing were perfect for staying alert while driving. In contrast, music that lasted around three and a half minutes per song had a more calming effect on me, making me feel fatigued and less focused.
So… I’m an anomaly if I were used in studies about this subject, because everything not recommended in a study I found helpful to me personally driving long distance. Ha ha! Podcasts are better than music, that is my concluding judgement on this subject.