Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC

The music teens choose makes them worse drivers

Do you listen to music every time you get in the car? A lot of us do, especially during our teenage years. Some people actually feel fairly awkward if they're driving in silence, like something is missing.

However, studies have recently found that music can make people worse drivers. This is especially true for teens when they get to choose the music on their own. In one study, when they did so:

  • They turned the music up to a much higher volume
  • They felt better and said they were in a better mood
  • They made "significantly more driving errors"
  • They broke the speed limit
  • They weaved all around on the road
  • They were more aggressive drivers

This happens because there is an emotional response to the music. They feel "fired up" by it, and that feeling -- which they noted as a better mood -- causes them to be aggressive and dangerous. They drive faster because of the loud, fast music that they're listening to.

They also tend to get distracted when they pick the music, rather than listening to music chosen for them by someone else. This, again, is because of the connection to that music. When listening to a song that they love, teens will devote a serious amount of mental energy toward listening, and that takes away from the energy they put into driving safely. They may feel good, but they're actually putting everyone else at risk.

It's virtually impossible to stop people from listening to music while they drive, so it is important to know how to seek financial compensation if one of these dangerous drivers causes an accident.

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