Like most people, I love to listen to some of my favorite songs and music when I drive, especially for long distances. It makes the time pass (go by) more quickly. Now I’ve learned it may also cause an accident.
Researchers in Israel conducted (carried out) a study with 85 young drivers (18 years old) in which they tested the effect on driving errors (mistakes) of listening to your favorite music versus listening to no music at all or to “safe-driving” music selected by the researchers. Subjects (participants in the study) drove for 40 minutes with a driving instructor (teacher), who made note of (made a record of) their mistakes as they drove under these three conditions (situations) – favorite music, no music, and “safe-driving” music.
When listening to their favorite songs, 98% of the drivers made driving errors, such as speeding (going too fast) and tailgating (following the car in front of you too closely). When listening to no music at all, 92% of the subjects made mistakes. But the real difference was with the “safe-driving” music, where only 77% made a driving error.
Researchers also noted that the young men drove more dangerously and made more serious errors than the young women, which isn’t too surprising if you have ever driven with high school boy (or have ever been one). They also found that the teens played their music at a much higher volume (louder) than the “safe” music.
So what was this magical safe-driving music? An article in the Wall Street Journal described it as “a blend (mix) of easy listening, soft rock, and light jazz in instrumental (no voices) and vocal (with voices)” formats. (It is not clear what would happen if easy listening, soft rock, and light jazz were your favorite kinds of music, however.)
There is one thing that listening to your favorite music while driving is good for, however: your mood (how you feel). Teens listening to their favorite music were in a better mood (felt happier) than when listening to no music or safe-driving music.
Your choice, then, is to enjoy yourself but get into an accident, or be bored but safe.
Do you think you drive better listening to your favorite music, or with no music at all? More importantly, is listening to ESL Podcast while driving dangerous?