Teenagers who listen to rap or rock music while driving risk having accidents
Young motorists made a greater number of errors and miscalculations while driving with their aggressive, fast-paced and loud music on, according to research from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.
But when soothing tunes were played motoring behaviour actually improved, the survey discovered.
Men in particular made more frequent and serious mistakes listening to their favourite tunes than their less aggressive, female counterparts, the researchers noted.
The BGU study evaluated 85 young novice drivers accompanied by a researcher/driving instructor.
Each driver took six challenging 40-minute trips; two with music from their own playlists; two with background music designed to increase driver safety (easy listening, soft rock, light jazz), and two additional trips without any music.
Nearly a third of those (32 percent) required a a sudden verbal warning or command for action, and 20 percent needed an assisted steering or braking maneuver to prevent an imminent accident.
These errors included speeding, tailgating, careless lane switching, passing vehicles and one-handed driving.
Without listening to any music, 92 percent made errors. However, when driving with an alternative music background designed by Brodsky and Israeli music composer Micha Kisner, deficient driving behaviors decreased by 20 percent.
‘Most drivers worldwide prefer to listen to music in a car and those between ages 16 to 30 choose driving to pop, rock, dance, hip-hop and rap,’ Brodsky explains.
‘Young drivers also tend to play this highly energetic, fast-paced music very loudly – approximately 120 to 130 decibels.’
‘Drivers in general are not aware that as they get drawn-in by a song, they move from an extra-personal space involving driving tasks, to a more personal space of active music listening.’
The Israel National Road Safety Authority funded the study which will be published in the October issue of Accident Analysis and Prevention.
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