Does listening to music make you a better driver?

Every now and again you come to a stop light, crosswalk, stop sign etc.  You look around to pass the time of the world’s longest red light infront of you.  Upon looking to your left you see Cindy enjoying herself as she belts out lyrics from her favorite Christina Agruilera CD.  Thinking to yourself “Oh she is really in to this song”, you hope that she is so focused on her music that she is going to be still back at the line as you cruise through the intersection upon seeing your green light.

Clearly all these young kids singing to their favorite beats must be distracting to their ability to stay focused and drive safely right? Wrong!  A study done by a British insurance company suggests differently.

Dr. Nicola Dibben, a music psychologist from the University of Sheffield explains that:

Singing while driving stimulates not only the mind but also the body which in turn produces heightened alertness and reduced fatigue.  Singing may be less distracting than conversation because drivers recall words to songs they already know, or because it is fairly easy to learn the words to music where it uses repeated lyrics.

Dibben’s study found that particular genres of music such as: Easy Listening,  Classical and Indie Rock are actually listened to by drivers who have had four or more accident free years. While those who have had less than four accident free years listened to: Dance, House, R’n’B.

So next time you’re on a long road trip or just had a long day of work and you start feeling drowsy, just bust out the Bon Jovi and the Taylor Swift – Forget about the embarrassment of getting caught singing out loud and get to your destination safely!



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