Residents of the United States have long had a relationship with radio. In fact, more Americans listen to the radio daily than watch television or use a smartphone or computer. This makes sense, as tuning in to your favorite station is a great way to make time pass. This is especially true during morning commutes and cross-country trips.
While your car’s radio makes a good companion, it may also pose a risk. That is, it may divert your attention away from the road. Unfortunately, distracted driving is a leading cause of automobile crashes in Georgia.
Whether you listen to music, talk radio or a podcast, you have probably become engrossed with your car’s radio at one time or another. While there is nothing inherently wrong with getting into your listening selection, you do not want your radio to become a cognitive distraction. This type of distraction happens when your brain switches its attention from one thing to another.
While cognitive distractions certainly increase your chances of having an automobile accident, so do manual ones. These distractions occur when you use your hands to do non-driving tasks. Changing the radio station, of course, is a type of manual distraction. Accordingly, rather than fiddling with the radio’s buttons, you may want to find a station and stick with it, even if it means listening to a few commercials.
There is some evidence to suggest a link between music type and collision risk. In a recent study, researchers found that music with a tempo above 120 beats per minute may cause motorists to drive unsafely. Listening to music that has a similar tempo to your heartbeat, between 60 and 80 beats per minute, is a safer approach.
You probably do not have to turn your car’s radio off completely. Still, you do not want it to become a distraction. You also do not want your musical selections to put you in danger. Fortunately, by understanding the risk, you can likely decrease your chances of having a radio-related collision.