Music Hardly Influence the Driving Skills

Making calls in the car is not a good idea. But what about listening to music? Does this also affect traveling effectiveness adversely? New research from the University of Groningen does not indicate this. Music hardly influences the driving skills and if it already influences the driving skills, this influence is positive.

That is the opinion of environmental and traffic psychologist Ayça Berfu Ünal. The results are Driver, Car, Cockpit, Vehicle, Interior, Automobilequite surprising. Many people have the idea that drivers who listen to music get whipped up and drive faster and more dangerous. “My research does not indicate this at all,” says the researcher. “On the contrary, our participants enjoy listening to music and meanwhile try very hard to drive well. Sometimes they even ride better with music. ”


Driving performance is mainly improved thanks to music when drivers drive on boring roads. Ünal had subjects drive for half an hour on a quiet road behind another car. “That is of course very boring. It showed that people who listen to music concentrate better on driving and therefore perform better than without music. That makes sense: people need a certain “arousal” (a kind of alertness of the brain to external stimuli) to prevent them from getting bored. In boring traffic situations, music is a good distraction to keep your attention on traffic. ”

In the Crowd

But what about busy traffic situations? Does the music not distract you? Ünal discovered that drivers in busy traffic situations are very inclined to turn the music down or even turn the radio off completely. During the experiments, the subjects were not allowed to do that. “What we saw was that participants started to focus much more on driving and afterward they no longer knew what could be heard on the radio. Safety is paramount at such a time, as a result of which participants block the distraction – in this case, music or the radio. This also happens when motorists have to perform a special operation, such as reverse parking. ”  If you need help Towing Company San Jose is there to guide you for better parking. Ünal further emphasizes that drivers who listen to music in busy traffic situations do not necessarily drive worse than drivers who drive cars in silence. “Our research shows that music in the background can help drivers to concentrate even better, in busy and quiet traffic situations.”

All in all, listening to music does not seem to hurt. But Ünal does add an important footnote to that conclusion. “It is important to know your limits. Loud music is more disturbing for one person than for another. ” Moreover, during her research, she focused on young motorists. Further research will have to show whether young people who learn to drive a car and older drivers also deal with music in the car in the same way. “I can imagine that if you just learn to drive, the distraction of music can be too much. In the elderly, the cognitive capacity of their brain decreases. I wonder how they react to the mental effort of driving in combination with music. ”