Listening to Your Favorite Music Can Cause an Accident

Car_Accident_512x512x32Like 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?


Image credit: Car Accident designed by Stephanie Wauters
from The Noun Project

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17 Responses to Listening to Your Favorite Music Can Cause an Accident

  1. Dan says:

    Hello everyone

    The use I make of my car is 90% commuting. After that, a part for grocery shopping I am done with it.

    I have been driving for 20 years and never been in an accident.

    While driving I tend to keep both hand on the steering wheel, and my eyes straight forward on the road.

    I am not always able to achieve that, especially during the summer when women go around half naked. Especially the ones mi mind rates: Turning head

    I find that far more distracting than music. They should have a study on that over there in Israel.

    This about safety on the roads is an important issue. It is scary the number of people losing their lives every year in just a single state. Unfortunately,that almost does not make news anymore. It seems it has became the norm.

    My concern is towards animals. They are so innocent! When I am driving along wooded roads I tend to slow down, ’cause I love animals and am terrified of running one over.

    Thank you. Look forward of reading you guys.

  2. Aécio Flávio Perim says:

    Hello Dan, good to read your opinion on this issue. My opinion is that these researchers talk too much without basis. I take it using my own expirience on the wheel. Since 1967 I drive on the Brazilian roads and never had an accident though I listen to music in the car. The problem is when the driver has an DVD with images and look at them while driving. When you do this, you take your eyes away from the road and an accident is about to come. You are right Dan when you say you love animals and without care you can run over one of them. Good one Dan.
    Aecio from the wonderful land.

  3. Wang says:

    Hi all!

    I don’t know for sure whether the issue now becomes one of the increasing causes of vehicle crash or not. Most of the people in my country are using their motorbikes to travel from one province to another one in

    short distances or at least within their cities. And on a motorbike, there is a term in our driving law that prohibits the use of devices/practices that can distract you from focusing on driving such as phones,

    headphones…I don’t have any car so I don’t know how the govt can make it work out with the radio on cars. But it seems to the law isn’t applied on radio because whenever I’m on a car, by a taxi or my company’s

    cars, the drivers always turn on instrumentals to comfort his guests. And there is many particular channels on radio broadcasting music for the long-drive truck drivers. Some say that does help to keep them awake

    on a long, boring drive. Yes, personally, I would turn on the music if I were in their shoes or in a better mood. Music has always made my life stay animated. Well, But the thing is what kind of music is the proper one

    to be applied in general? That can help people stay up without committing a fatal accident. For me only, I will drift away as hearing instrumentals/jazz long enough. But with pop/country music, sometimes it annoys

    my companies and I am neither a big fan of rock nor classical music…It seems hard to satisfy all :p

    Best regard!


  4. Wang says:

    Well, sorry, I should have revised my grammar in the last upload but I forgot.

    BTW, Dan…what you said above left me a dropped jaw! I know that young westerners are very open-minded on sexuality but walking around in half naked would be too much for me, and for Asian in general I would say.

    I know there are some beaches around the world, again, for sure most of them are in America continent or beneath the Europe sky :D, where people can stroll along the beach naked. You may know that Asian we are

    now adjusting our selves according to western culture, and I think we left behind a lot of orient cultures, include the sexuality aspect too. He he he, Even though I’m not a big fan of that practice but I have to admit that I

    would be distracted too. Most men will be the same I guess. But I assume that will cause many more troubles or a massive crash in Asia if there is a half-naked woman walking on the street. 😀

  5. Ben says:

    Are you kidding me?One question I really want to ask is where you come from.
    You know,I do not always spotted women half naked going around during summer in China.
    if that happened,I would love summer the most.And I do not quite agree with the research conducted by Israel.
    I have read some research not long before,maybe news,that when surgeons performed operations for their patients,
    most of them tend to listen to some music they were really into.It is pretty helpful to keep them in a relax mind and concentrate.
    So I guess the same thing still work out when people drive their cars.At least,it can make you not to fall asleep.

  6. Dan says:

    Hey Guys,

    When I say half naked, I mean with little clothing on, which during the Summer season is understandable.

    But, you know, perhaps as I perceive women is biased since, as almost every other man I am a….. can I say here pig?

    Over here -Italy- there are many beautiful women ( and Men see myself)

    Hey, yesterday I forgot to answer Jeff’s question whether listening to the podcast is distracting.

    I would say it depends on the subject. And most importantly on Jeff’s singing.

    See, he is so good at singing that when he does it, I have to pull over and listen in awe.

    Thank you Jeff

  7. Myo ko ko says:

    Like Wang, I don’t have any car. (I’m that rich!)
    So literally, no words to put here.
    But as an opnion, it’d depend on the genres of music you have a taste of.
    The first question that needs to be tackled is why do we listen to music while driving?
    If it is to feel better while we’re behind the wheel, then a piece of ‘soft’ music with intermediate
    volume level set can pose no harm on driving.
    Otherwise, the pileup, rear-ended or incidents of alike are ahead of you!
    If you’re not lucky enough, you’ll end up with your car totalled.
    I’m just scratching my head in bewilderment wondering why so many people nowadays are
    so rush that they become stupid and lose ability to be able to distinguish when is the right time
    to feel the music and when is not!

    I just fingers crossed for those hitting the road to be on their right tracks(lanes) when they cue
    up their favorite music tracks! 😉

    Myo ko ko

  8. Angiezz says:

    Hi all!!
    I just got a car for a year and get into 4 accident but not too heavy. In my opinion I choose to listening to favourite music
    because it make be have a good mood and not fall asleep when I drive.

    sorry for my poor english I just wanna try to comment!!

    Thanks for reading my opinion
    A Angiezz

  9. Wang says:

    LOL, sorry Dan!

    I misunderstood…I thought that was…

  10. Myo ko ko says:

    Teacher Jeff,
    I don’t know about my friends here.
    But for my part, I never listen to your great podcasts while doing something else.
    I never regard your podcasts as something to be taken for granted, as something entertaining medium,
    because I am in a process of learning a second language.
    I dare say that those who listen to ESL podcasts while doing something else like doing chores or
    while driving, exercising, WILL NOT get the fullest understanding of what you Jeff is teaching on
    the podcasts. Learning something calls for a approperite concentration.
    Literally, there is no concentration, there is no learning going on.

    My friends here,
    I usually listen to the podcasts just before I sleep every night, especially lying in the bed.
    One episode a night. I always use earbats, earpiece while listening to pods.
    Before I listen to an episode, I myself set a mood for it.
    When I get the mood, I start listening (learning, in fact), and at the same time I shape up in my mind
    the “setting” that Jeff and Lucy on the podcasts are in.
    And then I focus on the Lucy’s script, zero in on Jeff’s explanations, tune totally in the meanings
    of words and phrases, concentrate on the way Jeff explains things, the way he pronounces words — which parts
    of words are stressed or less stressed, etc.I never fail to try to catch the intonation, try to grasp the pronunciation,
    and try to seize the moods behind the sentences of two sayers in the chat that is taking place on the podcasts.
    This technique so far works out for me pretty well.

    You see how much concentration it demands for to listen to an ESL podcast to learn and acquire the content in it.
    So, my Blog friends, this is the way I go with Jeff and his great podcasts.
    Use it or lose it! 😉

    Myo ko ko
    You know where I’m from? Yep, the beauuuuutiful Myanmar!

  11. Myo ko ko says:

    Hi Angiezz,
    Let me say you “HELLO” from this beautiful Jeff and Lucy’s lovely Blog.
    And you are warmly welcome, my friend, Angiezz.
    If you are here to learn English, then this is the place for you.
    If you really want to improve your English, just listen to the ESL podcasts and read these blog posts carefully.
    And try to write something here regularly about your opinions, try to express your thoughts in English.
    If you do this regularly, I dare say that your English will improve faster and faster day by day.
    And you will thank me later for my words here.
    And don’t worry for your poor English, my English is not good, too.
    Like you do, I’m still trying to learn more English.

    I and some other friends will be waiting from here to read your comments.
    Go ahead! my friend, Angiezz.

    Your ESL friend,
    Myo ko ko

  12. Parviz says:

    Hi every body,

    Never had a car, nor and accident.
    But, I would listen to Jeff singing.

  13. Aécio Flávio Perim says:

    OK Myo ko ko, and am from ugly Brazil.

  14. emiliano says:

    Music in the car as driving?, well I think it is common and it could be really nice
    In fact going in friend´s cars I have been listening to music several times.

    In my car?, I could not remember a single houre listening to music as I was
    The car use to be full with three daughters and Cuca, so we don´t need any
    music at all.
    The three girls were singing the majority of times and it was Cuca who stated
    to sing first to provoque the girls so Yes, I have a radio and a casette on the
    car but usually I didn´t use it.
    Only If I was drivin alone, that it was very few times, I turn on the radio or the
    Dangerous?. I have not any opinión about the subject, like everything it depends
    of the person who is driving, if could feel asleep being in silence or the music
    could be some how too much relaxing. I don´t really know.
    I was driving for more htan thirty years and I didn´t have any great problema
    thanks to Good.
    I was funny to have the three girls singing after me with their lovely voices, yes
    I miss them and those times a lot.

    Thanks Jeff. emiliano

  15. emiliano says:

    Sorry about my writing, I have a heavy cold and I cost me a lot to write.
    too many mistakes. emiliano

  16. Myo ko ko says:

    Hey, Aecio
    Please don’t say that your Brazil is ‘ugly’.
    It is just ‘not beautiful’ !! 😉


  17. Aécio Flávio Perim says:

    Yes, Myo ko ko, not beautiful, but kind of good. Everyone who comes to this country go back with lots of compliments. Why is it so? Can you guess?
    Aecio from here.

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