Teen Driver Accident Risks Depend on Music Tastes

Teenage drivers who are listening to their favorite and preferred music in the car are much more likely to make driving mistakes, increasing the risks of an accident. That information comes from research that was conducted by Israeli researchers, and published recently in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention.

The research found that male teenage drivers in particular were much more likely to make driving mistakes, when they listened to their favorite music in the car. The study was based on a total of 85 young teenage drivers, who were also accompanied by a researcher. Each driver was made to take 6, 40-minute trips. In two of the trips, they listened to music from their own playlist, while in two of the trips; they listened to background music that was especially designed to make it safer for the teenage motorist to drive. They also made at least two trips without any music.

The researchers found that when the teenage drivers were listening to music of their own choice, almost 98% of them showed deficient driving on at least one of the trips. Approximately 2% of the teenage drivers required a verbal warning or a command for action to prevent the risk of an accident, and 20% required braking assistance to prevent an accident. Other errors including driving at excessive speeds, tailgating, passing vehicles, inappropriate change of lanes, and driving with just one hand on the steering wheel.

The researchers also found that when the teenage drivers were driving without any music, 92% of them made errors. However, when they were driving with music that was specially designed to increase safety, the deficient driving behaviors dropped by 20%.

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