Have you ever caught yourself turning down the radio to concentrate better while you drive? Have you ever realized that you’ve gotten so caught up in the beat of a song that you were speeding?
You’re not alone. Music can have a profound effect on a driver’s ability to navigate the road safely. Here’s what you need to know:
Music is (unfortunately) a major distraction
You may love your tunes when you drive, but it might be time to turn off the radio or put your favorite mix on hold – especially if you’re driving in unfamiliar areas, looking for an address, making a delivery or just trying to execute a tricky maneuver with your vehicle.
Essentially, the human brain can only handle so much information at once. When it hits “cognitive overload,” people start making mistakes. Your music is just one more thing that your brain has to process, and the distraction can prove deadly when you’re behind the wheel.
Not all music affects drivers the same way
It is true that music can improve your mood (and that alone can lead to better driving), but you need to be cautious. The tempo of a song can actually cause you to either slow down inappropriately or drive too fast.
Researchers say that a safe tempo for drivers to listen to when they’re on the road is around 60 to 80 beats per minute – which happens to be right in time with the average human heart rate.
Now you know to choose your music carefully – or just go without – when you want to be a safer driver, but distracted drivers are all around. If you end up the victim of one, find out what it takes to make a successful claim for compensation.