Motor vehicles have been outfitted with built-in ways to play music for decades. While the way they play music has changed, the effect of such features remains the same.
People often hear about the benefits of playing music in the car, such as helping motorists to stay awake or helping them calm down if they’re feeling stressed. Yet it is rare that concerns regarding how music can distract motorists or their driving worse are covered by the media.
What do you listen to and how do you listen to it?
Soothing music can be a good thing when you find traffic stressful. Yet, it’s not so clever if you are struggling to stay awake. That’s when amping up the tempo could be beneficial. Although, even that approach could be problematic as it sometimes causes people to drive faster and take more risks. Here are some tips to stay safer:
- Set your music up beforehand: Whatever your music choice, you’ll need to avoid fiddling with the controls while driving. Grabbing your phone to flick through your Spotify list is a definite no-no, but doing so via your in-car entertainment system is not much better. Ideally, you should set your music up before leaving and pull over to a safe spot if you wish to change it.
- Moderate the volume: One study found that blasting music at 95 decibels (as many people do) slows your reaction times by 20%.
- Don’t use music as a substitute for rest: If you’re tired, you should stop and rest. Waking yourself up by increasing the tempo of your music is but a temporary fix and could give you a false sense of security.
If a driver injures you in a crash, consider asking your attorney whether their music affected their driving. Showing it did could potentially help you get the compensation you deserve.