Long trips in the car are made much easier with some company from the radio. Without music or podcasts to entertain, the drive can prove quite monotonous. And while listening to the radio can make the trip more exciting, what you are listening to may make your time behind the wheel more dangerous.
We are well aware that distracted driving is dangerous, but we do not realize that listening to music falls into that category. This is because it has become the norm. In fact, studies show that 90 percent of drivers listen to music while driving. Although music can serve to relax us when we are caught in traffic or help reduce our stress, the type of music that you are listening to can have a wide range of effects. Certain music actually has the opposite impact.
Music that Increases Risk
Listening to certain music – especially loud music – can increase your risk of crashing. In a study by scientists at Memorial University in Newfoundland, listening to loud music can slow your reaction time by up to 20 percent. But what music is loud? If someone in the passenger seat was to start a lawnmower in your car, the volume would reach about 95dB. We cannot imagine driving with that in our ear. But the middle volume of a standard radio is actually 94dB and the volume of your music in the car generally reaches about 100dB. To make matters worse, about 93 percent of new drivers play loud music. These are the same individuals who do not have much experience with driving.
Rock Music May Prove Deadlier
Not only does loud music increase risk, but according to scientists at the South China University of Technology, so do songs with higher tempos. Individuals who listen to faster music are likelier to drive about 5 mph above the speed limit. On top of that, those who listened to rock were found to change lanes twice as much as those listening to other genres.
It may be difficult to determine which songs are more dangerous for your driving, but luckily, Moneybam has done it for you. According to its list of safest and most dangerous songs, Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ will calm you down, while you will want to avoid Green Day’s ‘American Idiot,’ which tops the list as most dangerous.
While you may feel relieved to know that you are not a fan of rock music, that doesn’t mean you can’t be just as distracted by other tunes. Studies have shown that listening to the music you most enjoy ends up being the most distracting, as you are paying greater attention to it, rather than to the road.
Additionally, any time that you change a CD, mp3, or radio station, you are creating a physical distraction to go along with an auditory distraction. It is important that music is low enough to hear emergency sirens around you.
It is unlikely that most of us will be turning our radios off any time soon. However, keeping your volume down, your hands on the wheel, and your eyes on the road can save lives – including your own.
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If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, it can greatly impact many parts of your life. The physical, emotional, and financial toll can be overwhelming. That’s why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced auto accident attorney.
At Jones Kahan Law, LLC, our Cincinnati personal injury attorneys have a long history of dealing with auto accidents and have helped our clients to recover the compensation that they deserve. We will fight for what is in your best interest. We don’t charge you any attorneys’ fees until we win your case. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!