A new study on teen drivers and their music suggests that if you listen to music you like while you drive, you’re at a higher risk of having an accident.
Huh. Well, it’s a good thing there’s never anything good on the radio.
All joking aside, the study was unveiled by researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. They’ll be publishing their findings in the October Accident Analysis and Prevention.
But on Friday they released a statement about the study, which was conducted on 85 new teen drivers and their driving instructors.
Each driver took six 40-minute trips, two with the music of their choice, two with music that had been designed to increase driver safety, and two with no music at all.
When listening to the music of their choice, 98 percent of the drivers made at least three mistakes during one of their trips. When listening to no music, they were still pretty bad, since 92 percent made the mistakes.
But when they drove to the special music, then the teen drivers made 20 percent fewer mistakes.
OK. But considering the number of mistakes they were making in the first place, that’s still pretty terrible, isn’t it?
The safe music was described as easy listening, soft rock, or light jazz.
BGU music director Warren Brodsky said that most drivers “between 16 and 30 choose driving to pop, rock, dance, hip-hop, and rap… drivers in general are not aware that as they get drawn-in by a song, they move… to a more personal space of active music listening.”
Actually, I think it would be interesting to perform the same study on older drivers. Let’s see how fast the drivers over 30 nod off to that light jazz background music before we make a rush to judgment.
What’s safe music for teen drivers could be pretty dangerous for the rest of us.
[wrangler via Shutterstock]