Can listening to music cause a distracted driving crash?

On Behalf of | Aug 17, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Most people listen to music when they drive. It’s a good way to pass the time and can be enjoyable.

Music can be a distraction, though. According to a study performed by the Ear Institute of University College London, shifting gaze just a few degrees away from the source of a loud sound resulted in slower reaction times and the need for additional brain activity to focus and concentrate. What does that mean?

It means that it may be a bad idea to divide attention between audio and visual tasks.

Not always, though. In other studies, it was found that music has the potential to reduce aggression and drivers’ stress. Some music could even improve performance.

However, the results are mixed because there are different kinds of music that may impact driving performance.

Driving may worsen with preferred music choices, though. It’s distracting to sing along to a song, and preferred music seemed to be linked with more aggressive driving behavior in one study. It was found, at the same time, that driving with calming music or none at all resulted in better driving.

To stay focused, you may want to reconsider your music choices

It’s not always easy for people to focus when music or the radio is on. Whether you’re listening to a song or a talk radio segment, be aware that it could be distracting. If you want to minimize the risk of a collision, then you may want to turn down your music, select music at a lower tempo or elect for music that isn’t complex.

What can you do if someone crashes into you when listening to loud music?

If someone is listening to loud music when they hit you, mention it to the police at the scene. You may also want to note down what you heard or saw before the auto crash, because showing that the other driver was distracted could help you improve your chance of holding them at fault and getting compensation for your injuries. Distractions are dangerous, and those who drive while distracted may be liable if you are injured.