Music and driving are a dream team – or are they? Can music distract from traffic events, can it affect driving or reaction time? “Music does not pass drivers by without leaving a trace. As studies show, it not only arouses emotions but can also contribute to a neglect of duty of care, for example as a result of distraction”, says DEKRA traffic psychologist Dr. Thomas Wagner. This means music exerts a clear influence on driving behavior.
- Music in the car tends to increase reaction time
- Stimulating music can cause you to drive faster
- Emotional songs often capture attention
“Music is usually a mood enhancer, but it can also reduce care while driving”, the psychologist explains. At higher volume levels, it can greatly distract from traffic events, especially if the songs are associated with personal emotions and memories. “Whenever attention is taken up by the music, there is less mental capacity left for driving.”