Road trips and music go together like peanut butter and jelly. After all, who doesn't love driving down the highway, belting out the words to their favorite tunes, and practicing their best stationary dance moves?
It's important to keep your eyes on the road. However, hearing your favorite song and singing along with friends can quickly become a distraction. As fun as singing and dancing in the car can be, several studies identify music as a major driver distraction that increases your risk of getting in an accident.
Here's what you should know.
Like eating, texting, putting on makeup, and other types of behind-the-wheel distractions, singing, dancing—and, in some cases, just listening to loud music—can divert your attention from safely piloting your vehicle.
This not only slows your response times but also makes it easier for you to completely miss potential hazards.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving was a factor in 10% of fatal crashes in 2016.
Does that mean it's time to stop listening to music in the car? No. In fact, some research suggests that might not increase on-the-road safety or reduce accidents. However, exercising just a little common sense can help you avoid causing music-related distracted driving crashes.
- Keep your music at a reasonable volume. One study found that, regardless of what type of music was playing, reaction times slowed in response to loud music. Avoid playing music so loud that it drowns out the sounds of traffic.
- Stay focused on the road. If you're singing and dancing, your full attention isn't on driving. Keep your eyes on the road and, most importantly, your mind focused on the task at hand.
- Select your songs in advance. Changing the radio station or looking through a CD case to find just the right song are some of the most dangerous music-related driver distractions. Fortunately, you can bypass these risks entirely by taking advantage of Bluetooth technology and music streaming apps or playlists on your smartphone. Just make sure to follow all applicable laws regarding phone use while driving.
Hurt by a Distracted Driver? We Can Help.
If you were injured in an accident caused by a driver who was distracted by the music in their vehicle, you may be entitled to a financial recovery for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. The experienced car accident injury attorneys of Neblett, Beard & Arsenault can help you build a strong case for financial recovery. Contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.588.6303 today to schedule your free consultation.