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Adjusting Car Radio

How Your Favorite Music Could Cause a Crash

Driving distractions are everywhere. The most serious distractions are often the things we take for granted. Take music, for example. Radios have been in cars for about 100 years, but is it possible that sound systems put drivers at risk? To understand how your favorite music could cause a crash, we need to look at the evidence.

Favorite Song Fiasco

A distracted driving study by Ben-Gurion University in Israel found that 98% of drivers who listened to their favorite songs made multiple, severe driving mistakes. During the study, an incredible 20% of drivers required instructor intervention to prevent an imminent crash.

The study suggests that intense, fast-tempo music and aggressive lyrics increases the risk of severe cognitive distractions and daydreaming behind the wheel. Additionally, the more familiar you are with a song, the more likely you are to engage with it through singing or increasing speed to match the tempo.

Studies find that drivers who listen to “aggressive music” behind the wheel are significantly more likely to engage in aggressive driving behaviors, like tailgating and unsafe merging. Additionally, the louder the music, the greater the risk of both distracted driving and aggressive driving.

However, that isn’t to say that all driving music is bad. Soft music and talk radio are linked to increased concentration behind the wheel.

Safe-Driving Tunes?

On the other hand, some suggest a unique genre of “safe-driving music.” This consists of smooth jazz, soft rock, and talk radio. Driving is an inherently stressful task and these genres of music are said to make the driver relax while keeping them alert to nearby dangers.

Simply put, slow music discourages speeding because there’s no risk of keeping up with the tempo. Likewise, songs without lyrics make it easier to focus on the road and avoid getting caught in a cognitive distraction, like singing along with your favorite song.

If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries at the hands of a distracted driver, we are here for you. If you'd like to discuss your case with an experienced Easton car accident attorney from Meshkov & Breslin to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (610) 285-1963.