Is there anything better than cranking up the volume on your favourite song while flying down the highway towards your destination? Music and driving go hand in hand – from planning soundtracks to long road trips to playing something to keep the kids calm while you negotiate traffic. Yes, music can make a commute much easier, but it can also be very distracting. Make sure that music adds to your driving enjoyment instead of to your risk of causing an accident by following our handy tips.
Research (and common sense) indicates that music that inspires extreme emotions of sadness or happiness (such as heavy metal and fast hip hop) or that makes you want to drum along with your hands or tap your toes is the most distracting. Music listened to at a loud volume is also more likely to lead to speeding, tailgating and one-handed driving. A study by Monash University revealed that scrolling for song choices on your device of choice makes you 111% more likely to veer from your lane while diverting your eyes from the road 2.5 times longer than normal.
While music itself is not a problem, the distracted driving that it causes is. And the last thing you need to worry about is accidently getting involved in a bumper bashing – or worse.
So what can you do to enjoy the boredom busting benefits of music in the car without compromising on your safety and ability to concentrate? Simply follow these tips:
- Avoid very fast-paced music. Music that mimics the rate of your heartbeat (in other words 60-80 beats per minute) is the best choice.
- Slower music like soft rock, jazz or even talk radio is your best bet for ‘background’ music to listen to while driving.
- Avoid connecting any device to your car’s sound system that has to be manually controlled. Most modern cars offer Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to skip tracks and change the volume via your car’s controls.
- Avoid listening to music at a volume where you cannot hear ambient noise from outside.
Follow these simple tips and you can look forward to many more hours of stress free, music filled driving.