Music has the power to transport you to another time and place. Parents sing lullabies to soothe their baby to sleep. Therapists use music to promote memory in people with dementia. Sports teams blast out their chosen anthem to fire up the crowd before a big match.
Yet, if music can do all this and more, what effect does the music we play in our vehicles have on our driving?
Someone’s favorite music might make them a more dangerous driver
One study found that listening to your favorite music while driving makes you less safe to drive. The study focused exclusively on younger drivers. It found when listening to their favorite tracks:
- Drivers broke more laws
- Drivers were more aggressive
- Drivers were more distracted
Does that mean you should listen to music you dislike while driving? Not necessarily. If your father’s favorite crooners send you to sleep, or your daughter’s favorite boyband makes you cringe, they are not going to help you drive safely.
Music can have advantages when driving
Music can play an important role when driving. It can help keep you awake when driving through the night. It can calm you down when stuck in traffic or when you step into the car after an awful day at the office. Yet it can also do harm. Whatever you music choose when you’re behind the wheel of a car, try to notice the effect it has on you.
Also, the next time a car full of folks banging their heads in the time to the beat passes you or the driver next to you at the lights is conducting an imaginary orchestra, use additional caution. Remember, their choice of music may negatively affect their driving. If you’re involved in a wreck with a driver who was lost in the music they had on, you may be in for a long recovery. Should that happen, it may be wise to speak with an attorney before you speak with the insurance company involved.