Driven to Distraction: Music Can Affect Driving Performance

Do you have a favorite music selection you play when you’re on the road? Something you listen to on your way to work or when you have to make a long road trip? A heavy metal album or a compilation of classical works?

You may be surprised by how your music choice can affect your driving.

A recent study from Ben-Gurion University, which is located in Israel, explores the effects of music on driving performance.

The researchers in the study recruited a group of men and women around age eighteen. Multiple driving trips were made either with music of the driver’s choice, easy listening background music, or no music.

The results of the study show that when the participants drove while the calming music chosen by the researchers, they made the least amount of driving errors (compared to driving with their personal music or no music at all). For the “safe driving” music, the researchers chose easy listening pieces of “soft rock and light jazz.”

The choice music of most of the drivers was described as mostly “fast-paced vocals,” and the participants preferred to play their music loudly. When driving with the easy listening music, the participants tended to turn down the volume more.

If you want to drive your best, you may want to choose music that is calming but sufficiently upbeat so that you don’t become over-excited or drowsy at the wheel.

If you want to read more about the study and its implications, visit the link below.

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