(NEW YORK) -- Whether early in the morning or late at night, drivers will often have a cup of coffee or another caffeinated beverage to beat fatigue before driving while another way motorists fight sleepiness is blasting music in the car.
Ergonomics researchers ShiXu Liu, Shengji Yao and Allan Spence set out to learn if these methods really make a difference in the alertness of drivers by designing a simulated driving test.
In the study, 20 people underwent three two-hour driving sessions in which some participants used caffeine, others played music while a third group did neither.
After the sessions, they all scored their fatigue levels and it became obvious that those who used neither caffeine nor music were significantly more tired.
However, the two methods to fight fatigue were not equal. Liu says that the caffeine drinkers performed their tasks much better, resulting in more superior driving performance.
Part of the problem with music, Liu explained, is that it can distract drivers.
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