Teens who listen to their favorite tunes while driving may end up with impaired motor skills, a new study suggests.
Active listening, which entails: humming along with, tapping out the beat, and singing along with, appears to interfere with the safety of their driving habits. The result, an increase in error-prone behaviors, such as speeding, tailgating and one-handing steering. It may also lead to aggressive driving and sudden lane-changing/passing.
On the contrary, investigators said that certain types of music can help to promote safe driving habits in teens. The investigators argue that if the driving conditions become more risky such as being tired, driving at night or in highly congested traffic, music may actually help to lower their risk factors of getting into an accident.
An Israeli study conducted found that 98% of teens displayed three or more driving deficiencies when listening to their preferred music, which mostly consisted of fact-paced music. Deficiencies included driving aggressively or inaccurately, miscalculating and committing a traffic violation. The study found that 1/3 of these trips required the instructor to yell out a sudden verbal warning command, while 1/5 needed their assistance to steer or brake in order to prevent an accident.
On the other hand, 92% of no-music trips resulted in teens making similar errors. The study found, however, that when teens drove with calming, alternative music, their deficient driving behaviors fell by 20%.
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