Can What You Listen To Affect Your Driving?

Wednesday, 24. November 2010

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

On the subject of health and safety the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) carried out a study into ‘in car’ distractions and found that reaction times were affected by what we listen to on the radio. It found that reaction times were 20% slower when listening to sport. The reaction times were found to be similar to those found when drivers had been drinking and driving. Whilst plenty of studies had been carried out on mobile phone use whilst driving, few studies had been carried out into the effects of different programmes on the radio whilst driving. The TRL has found that most distractions are caused by the same problem – we are only capable of processing limited information so whilst we concentrate on sport on the radio we can’t focus so well on our driving. However, whilst the study found that using mobile phones or even talking to passengers in the car whilst driving is very distracting, listening to music isn’t. Passengers watching a DVD in the rear of the car can be more distracting if the driver can hear the sound but can’t see the pictures. The mind starts to visualise what is going on in the film. The study also found that the music you listen to could affect your driving behaviour rather than your concentration. Listening to your own music tends to lead to more efficient driving, less anxiety and distractions and actually results in drivers enjoying their driving more as opposed to listening to music selected by someone else or random music being played on a radio programme. Playing sad or happy music had the same effect although you are more likely to drift out of your lane when listening to happy music. I can see it now at the scene of an accident, the policeman asks what happened oh and what was playing on your stereo at the time? Beware of how you answer that question! By Graham Hill

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