Does your taste in music influence your driving style?

A car ride is not complete without your favourite jams acting as the soundtrack to your journey. Interestingly, a study has found that what you listen to affects how you drive. So the answer is yes, it does affect the way you drive.

The study by scientists at Memorial University in Newfoundland to determine whether specific types and volumes of sounds affect driving-related tasks, they found that listening to loud music can cause a motorists reaction time to slow down by up to nearly 20%.

During the study, participants completed six trials while exposed to different sound types (hard rock, classical music and industrial noise) and volumes (53 versus 95 db). Participants executed a randomised order of tasks, involving: movement, reaction time, simulated driving, and non-conscious perception of masking stimuli.
The results showed that loud volumes affect simple vigilance whereas hard rock music may affect tasks involving concentration and attention especially with males.
Loud hard rock music, loud classical music and loud industrial noise impaired reaction time by 16.9%, 10.1% and 18.7% compared to quiet hard rock music, quiet classical music and quiet industrial noise respectively.
Loud classical music significantly decreased reaction time by 7.5% compared to loud industrial noise. There were no significant differences between loud hard rock and loud classical music, nor loud hard rock music and loud industrial noise. Males were more adversely affected by hard rock music compared to females
Simulated driving crashes showed a strong trend for hard rock music exposure to produce more crashes per lap driven by 18.4% compared to industrial noise.
Loud music was found to increase risk, but music with faster tempos like rock music were likely to cause motorists to drive about 5mph above the speed limit. They were also found to change lanes twice as much as those listening to other genres.

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