Unsafe Driving Caused by Music? That's the Name of that Tune!

Tuesday March 17th, 2009 at 7:33 AM
Posted by: m35man


Have you ever driven past a car that was shaking so violently from loud music emanating from a pounding bass speaker (the size of a beach ball) that you thought your windows were going to shatter?

Well, now a study has found that certain types of loud music in your car can cause you to speed or drive in an unsafe manner.

My buddy’s 18-year-old son has a stereo system in his car that costs more than the car itself. When he cranks up the volume, people run for the hills.

I’m 50, and when I was his age, we played our Foreigner, Peter Frampton and Black Sabbath 8-track tapes loud, but not the way these kids do today. We didn’t have the technology they have now, for one. These new high-tech systems on the market today “go to 11″ as Nigel Tufnel (played by Christopher Guest) said in the cult film, “This is Spinal Tap”.

But, this study claims that it’s not just the volume of the music, but the beat as well. Particular tunes with a certain tempo can cause drivers to be highly distracted. Rock music and dance music are the real culprits, apparently.

So, the next time your teenage kid gets a ticket or is in a fender bender, ask him/her what he/she were listening to when it happened. Then, after you ground them for a decade, confiscate the offending CD.

Read portions of this article from the Detroit News after the jump:

Never mind cells and the dangers of texting or eating while driving. A team of scientists at a university in Israel found the tempo of your tunes in your vehicle can lead to speeding or other unsafe driving practices. If their research is correct, listening to Tracy Chapman’s ballad “Fast Car” does not promote a lead foot, but the drive classic, “Radar Love,” by Golden Earring, probably makes the miles go by faster.

The study found those revved up on riffs are more likely to disregard red lights and road crossings and to crash.

Technically speaking, it is because loud rock and dance music need more brain processing and thus competes with other functions like concentrating on driving.

For best driving, listen to teen sensation Taylor Swift’s “Love Story,” that is, if you can handle American Idol-style songs.

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