Young drivers find music helps their driving ability

Study respondents claimed it was not only “difficult” but sometimes “near impossible” to concentrate without music playing.

A new study has found that young drivers believe music in the car isn’t just entertainment but essential to help their concentration.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers found music affects the concentration of drivers aged 18-29, as well as induces aggressive behaviour or causes them to miscalculate risky situations.

In the study, 140 young adults responded to a 67-item questionnaire exploring how drivers engage with music while driving. Most of the respondents (80%) claimed it was not only “difficult” but sometimes “near impossible” to concentrate on traffic and road conditions without music playing. 

Professor Warren Brodsky, director of the BGU Music Science Lab in the Department of the Arts, said: “To young drivers 18-29, music in the car isn‘t just entertainment, it‘s part of their autosphere whether they‘re alone or not.

“They are so used to constant stimulation and absorbing great amounts of information throughout the day, that they don‘t question how the type of tunes they play might affect concentration, induce aggressive behaviour, or cause them to miscalculate risky situations.

“These young drivers believe that more stimulus actually helps their driving abilities. This could become more of an issue in the future, when it becomes critical to disengage from music and assume control in an autonomous vehicle.”

3 thoughts on “Young drivers find music helps their driving ability”

  1. This is very interesting. I have done some training with pupils at test level and music in the car. What this article does not mention is the inability to hear blues and twos or warning car horns. Certainly, fast music with a strong beat tends to encourage faster driving and I have noticed how students start to tap the steering wheel to the beat.
    How do these students manage in school or college where, presumably, music is not permitted?
    The point about taking back control in the autonomous vehicles of the future is well made.
    I shall continue discussing this in car.

  2. Retail have used music in shops to set the tempo of customers shopping for years . So at busy times in Oxford St, stores will up the tempo of the music to encourage customers to move more quickly around the store . At quiet times they will do the opposite . Pupils are often surprised how the same applies with music tempo/ type with their driving . Always worth discussing.

  3. Kevin Williams

    Quote: “Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers found music affects the concentration of drivers”

    How? Negatively? Positively?

    The implication of the article is that the research found negative effects whilst the young drivers believed the opposite. But it’s far from clear.

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