Faculty: Social Sciences
Department: Mass Communication


Ojiakor, I. C.
Adum, A. N.


Motoring, as a human activity, demands concentration or there would be consequences. Music, as a form of communication, is a vital part of human life; listening to music while driving has become standard feature. The increase in vehicular traffic raises concerns for safe driving and factors that make for unsafe driving. This study sought to determine the prevalence of in-vehicle musical listening among commercial motorists in South-East Nigeria; platforms for such communication; the gratifications derived from the practice; awareness of potential hazards to well-being associated with the practice and how awareness of potential hazards is an influence on these motorists’ behind-the-wheel behaviour. The survey, observation and in-depth interview approaches were adopted for the study. All commercial drivers in motor parks across the capital cities of the five Southeastern States made up the study population (1,617). The sample size for survey was 321 based on Taro Yamane’s formula n=N/1+N (e)2. Multi-stage sampling was used to derive the study units for survey; 81 drivers were purposively chosen for observation while 15 Interviewees were selected for IDI, based on theoretical saturation. Results from the study established that utilization of in-vehicular musical communication was high among the commercial motorists studied. Also, recorded playables were the most preferred platform for in-vehicular music. In-vehicle musical communication was utilized more for the purpose of relaxation than concentration by these motorists; and, 75% among these drivers would engage in driving and listening in spite of being aware of the potential hazards. In view of these findings, the study recommended the use of musical platforms with voice interaction interface in order to minimize eyes-off-the-road and hands–off–the–wheel distraction which present the greatest challenge to vehicle control in driving and to drivers.