A recent study shows somewhat unexpected results in the influence of music on safe driving behavior. Drivers started by choosing their own music to hear while driving. Researchers then switched to more soothing music, first changing the music gradually, then abruptly. The more abrupt change in music made the driver calmer and improved driver performance.
For the study, 28 test subjects were put in a driving simulator and subjected to different road conditions while hearing a variety of styles of music. During the soothing music, drivers were less likely to speed or to swerve out of their lane. Their response times were better and their stress levels lower – even though the driving subjects said they were happier during the more lively music. But this study and previous research has shown that people tend to drive faster when listening to high-energy music.
“In-car music presentation can be used as a tool to improve driver’s mood and behavior,” The researchers wrote in an article on the study published in the journal Ergonomics. Source: Automobile Dealers Association of Eastern Ohio