The music we listen to while driving can distract and have fatal consequences, according to research carried out by a professor of music psychology.
Professor Warren Brodsky, professor of music psychology and director of the Music Science Laboratory at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, warns that both novice and experienced drivers should be “more aware of how music influences their driving behaviour and vehicle control”.
This is the conclusion reached by professor Brodsky, and outlined in his new book, Driving With Music: Cognitive-Behavioural Implications.
Professor Brodsky maintains that our choice of music while driving can have a major influence on the way we drive, and, in some circumstances, lead to serious and possibly fatal outcomes.
The professor says that while listening to music is ingrained in the way we drive, apart from considering the physical issues of equipment control, there has been little research on the subject. To date, traffic and driving research has ignored the emotional impact of music on drivers, but professor Brodsky maintains that this too must be considered.
He also contends that safe driving is further complicated by the varying demands of the roadway itself and, as a result, the same music style may cause no harm to one driver while “causing havoc” to another.
Professor Brodsky says listening to music while driving is not necessarily dangerous, but the choice of music, when combined with other factors, can increase the risks. Conversely, he points out that some kinds of music may even contribute towards driver welfare. In this context, he argues that perhaps it is worth including the subject of driving with music as a component of driver education courses.