Because sitting in traffic and driving long distances can be boring, many drivers listen to music to pass the time. While there is nothing wrong with preferring certain styles of music, drivers must be careful about their musical selections.
A recent study found that up-tempo music may increase accident risk considerably. Consequently, to stay safe on the road, drivers should avoid songs that have more than 120 beats per minute.
Risky driving behaviors
Drivers who listen to fast music often have higher heart rates and stress levels than those who prefer slower songs. They may also engage in risky driving behaviors, such as speeding, tailgating or changing lanes erratically.
Some drivers may listen to fast or loud music to stay awake behind the wheel. If a driver is too drowsy to drive safely, the correct solution is not to continue to drive. Unfortunately, loud and up-tempo music may lure sleepy drivers into a false sense of safety.
Slow and relaxing music may also be problematic. Put simply, if a driver has not had enough rest, calming music may cause him or her to fall asleep.
By now, virtually everyone realizes distracted driving may be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Therefore, responsible motorists always stash their smartphones before hitting the road. Still, distracted driving includes more than sending text messages and talking on the phone.
In addition to mental, visual and manual distractions, drivers should beware of auditory ones. Auditory distractions are sounds that divert a driver’s attention from the driving task. Up-tempo, soft and loud music may all fall into this category.
Ultimately, all drivers have an obligation to avoid auditory and other distractions. If a driver neglects this responsibility, your life and the lives of your passengers may be in danger.