Distracted driving can encompass a wide range of behaviors and distractions, ranging from talking or texting on cell phones to personal grooming. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one of the most common forms of driver distraction is listening to music. In a recent study conducted by an Israeli music psychologist, the type of music can also play a contributing factor in car accidents.
Here are some details about what the study found:
- The study was conducted by Professor Warren Brodsky, a director of music psychology at Ben-Gurion University in Negev. Brodsky published his findings in a book discussing the connection between music, emotion, and driving.
- According to the study, Brodsky found that a person’s emotional connection to the music playing can have a significant impact on their ability to focus and drive safely. For example, he found songs that invoke an emotional connection in the driver can be especially distracted – this includes happiness, sadness, and nostalgia. High energy music can also cause a motorist to become unfocused.
- Research showed that motorists should avoid music that evokes very powerful negative or positive feelings, and that quickly changing tunes can help change a driver’s emotional state. Using his findings, Brodsky theorized new technology that could automatically change songs when it senses extreme emotional reactions to music.
A vast majority of drivers listen to music behind the wheel without realizing how distracting it can really be. After all, vehicles come stock with radios, stereos, and – in some cases – incredible sound systems. Although listening to music is widely accepted, it can easily cause a motorist to become distracted, especially when drivers focus more on the song than on the road or enjoy themselves too much with passengers.
Having helped many victims and families harmed in preventable accidents, our team at Shook & Stone would like to remind everyone about the importance of avoiding distractions behind the wheel. For victims and families who do suffer harm as the result of distracted or negligent drivers, it’s important to remember that you do have rights and that you can pursue compensation for your damages.