Does Music Affect Driving Performance?

How does music affect driving performance? The subject has been studied many times, and while the data is often conflicting, some conclusions can be drawn.

Overall, music doesn't have a major effect on driving performance, but possibly a minor one. One Israeli study found that there were small changes in driving habits among teen drivers who listened to music they liked, easy listening music like soft jazz, or no music at all. The drivers listening to their favorite music made the most errors; drivers not listening to anything made slightly fewer; drivers listening to the softer "safe driving" music made 20% fewer errors.

From this research, it seems like music actually helps us concentrate, as long as it's not music we're preoccupied with listening to or singing along with. Another study found that long, quiet roads tend to bore drivers, and playing music helps them focus and make fewer errors.

Listening to music too loudly can also have an effect, according to a Newfoundland study; it decreases reaction time significantly. And, the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that drivers were most distracted when searching for different songs.

In conclusion, keep listening to your favorite music; just keep it soft and don't look down to switch songs!
Categories: People
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