Every car available comes with some sort of sound system. That sound system comes with the car because no one likes to go on long drives in complete silence. But that music could be dangerous, especially for inexperienced drivers. How music affects your driving doesn’t solely rely on your experience though. Personalities come into play as well, not to mention the type of music you listen to. But knowing how your driving is affected is a good way to avoid dangerous situations and practice safer driving.
You should know how music affects your driving so that you can be better prepared to stay safe while listening to music behind the wheel.
Music is Info
We don’t often consider this fact that music is information because we dumb it down so often. Not that we think the song is dumb or the lyrics are bad but it is just a tune in our mind. However, the music is so much more than that. Our brains actually process the music we listen to, especially if it is our favorite song at the time. You can try it, listen to your favorite song right now and try not to sing along in your head. That is your brain processing the lyrics, the tempo, the beat, the instruments, timing is key when singing and your brain finds that timing. Your eyes are on the road but your mind is in the song.
Don’t Clap Along
Upbeat music is great. In fact, studies have shown that if you look at someone without any expression on their face but you’re listening to happy music, your mind will read that face as happy. The opposite was true with sad music. Even though the facial expression was exactly the same. Happy music puts us in an upbeat mood and while that may be good for your emotions it is not good for your driving. London University psychologist Dr. Simon Moore reviewed some of the results from this study. Dr. Moore stated, “Fast beats can cause excitement and arousal that can lead people to concentrate more on the music than on the road.”
I Hate This Song
On the other hand, listening to music that you don’t like could be just as dangerous. Dr. Moore says, “[L]istening to music you don’t like can cause stress and distraction and this also negatively affects driving,” This doesn’t get us closer to knowing how music affects your driving. What we know so far is that listening to music can be a distraction. We also know that music you love is dangerous but so is music you don’t love. Still, sound systems are put in cars for a reason, right? Well, that is where judgment comes into play.
How Music Affects Your Driving
Music is a distraction, that is solid info. But that doesn’t mean you need to drive in complete silence. Of course, that would be the safest way to drive but who wants to do that? Instead, your music should be listened to at a volume that makes it background noise. Studies have come to some conclusions but those studies aren’t perfect either. There are far too many variables like type of music, personality, volume, driving conditions, all of these things factor into the equation. What is important is that you are a good enough driver to make the distinction between each variable. You probably shouldn’t race down the roads while listening to EDM if you just need to dance when you hear it.