If you’ve ever been driving and you couldn’t find the address you were looking for – or if you were looking for an exit sign, a store, etc – you may have instinctively reached forward to turn down the music while you looked. Most people listen to music in the car, but it feels like it helps to reduce the volume as you try to figure out where to turn.
If you’ve done this, you do know that it helps, but you may also be wondering why. The volume of the music has nothing to do with how well you can see the street signs, so why does turning it down actually make it so that you can find your destination?
The reason for this is that music is a major distraction for drivers. Your brain is having trouble handling all of the information being presented to it. It is having to navigate using the car’s controls, well also being presented with audio and visual stimulation at the same time. Remember that multitasking is a myth, so your brain can’t do multiple tasks at once. It has to jump back and forth between these tasks, so it won’t do any of the tasks as well as it would otherwise.
By turning off the music, you reduce the distraction and allow your brain to put more power into examining your surroundings in a visual sense.
Have you been injured in an accident?
The other thing to keep in mind is that people often listen to music while they drive, and it’s clear that this distraction makes them worse drivers. If one of them causes an accident that leads to injuries, you may be able to seek financial compensation.