How many of us are guilty as all heck when it comes to driving and listening to our fave tunes blasting on the car stereo? Well, there is compelling evidence that suggests, listening to music while driving can be a deadly practice.
Music psychologist Dr. Warren Brodsky, who teaches at Ben-Gurion University in Israel contends that listening to the wrong type of music while driving can definitely lead to motor vehicle fatalities. During an interview with the Israeli publication, Haaretz, Dr. Brodsky stated, “The car is the only place in the world you can die just because you’re listening to the wrong kind of music,” says Dr. Brodsky, who recently published the first textbook on how music can affect driving habits, Driving with Music: Cognitive-Behavioral Implications. The researcher speculates that drivers listen more actively when they enjoy the music, which may, in turn, cause them to pay less attention to the road. “Whether it’s Beethoven, Basie or Bieber is irrelevant,” the professor says. “Ideally drivers should choose tunes that do not trigger distracting thoughts, memories, emotions, or hand drumming along to the beat while driving.”
A group of researchers at Memorial University in Newfoundland delved into the effects of sound types and volume on simulated driving. The clinicians discovered that the kind of music a driver is listening to does not make a difference but if it’s loud, their reaction and movement times would be adversely affected by as much as 20 percent. The reduced reaction time when driving is substantial enough to cause a potentially fatal situation, even in the best of climates and while driving at a moderate speed.
According to scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, it isn’t the type of music you play in the car that can create a perilous situation, it is scrolling through playlists on an MP3 that can result in a calamity. When drivers searched through their playlists, they were not able to keep their eyes on the road. The researchers surmised that aftermarket MP3 players and long playlists, actually lengthened the amount of time driver’s eyes were off the road.
Researchers at London Metropolitan University analyzed experiments by the U.K. insurance price comparison website, Confused.com and they concluded, noisy upbeat music that increases your heart rate is a deadly mix. Fast beats can cause excitement and arousal that can lead people to concentrate more on the music than on the road. In addition, a fast tempo can cause people to subconsciously speed up to match the beat of the song.
It seems there is quite a bit of convincing evidence that playing music while driving can be a deadly lullaby of distracted driving. It seems the type of music we listen to in our cars can make a difference in our driving style, as well as our level of distraction. So perhaps you should think twice before you decide to pump up the music in your ride.