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Is Your Favorite Music Making You a Worse Driver?

Long drives can get boring; that’s why radios were put in cars in the first place. While it’s nice to catch up on a new audiobook or listen to your favorite album, is it possible that these things are making you a worse driver? Let’s look at the evidence.

The Science of Distracted Driving

Listening to music is a cognitive distraction; you’re drawing focus away from the road and putting it on the rhythm and the lyrics. And although distracted driving has come into greater focus in recent years, the dangerous impacts of listening to music while driving have been known for decades.

One study found that almost all young drivers listening to their favorite music made an error, with about a third of those being so severe that they required instructor intervention. Music is a powerful cognitive distraction as many drivers actively interact with it by tapping their feet or singing along.

There’s evidence to suggest the distraction’s influence may depend on the type of music. Some studies have found that loud and fast-tempo music increase the likelihood of both cognitive distractions and reckless or dangerous driving. In some cases, drivers try to match the speed of their vehicle to the tempo of the music, which can lead to extreme and dangerous speeding.

Easy Listening

While there’s significant evidence that your favorite music may be making you a worse driver, other studies suggest that “easy listening” heightens focus and encourages safer driving. Talk radio, low-tempo music, and ambient noise might reduce your odds of making a mistake behind the wheel.

If you find yourself zoned out and absorbed in your favorite playlist, take a moment to pause, turn the speakers off, and focus on the road. It just might save you from a serious crash.

If you’d like an experienced Connecticut car accident attorney from RisCassi & Davis, P.C. to evaluate your case, don’t hesitate to call us at (860) 245-2412 or send us an email!

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