Distracted Driving Concern: Loud Music

Distracted driving usually revolves around cell phone use, but what about other distractions, such as music.

I know that is seems silly, how can music cause a car accident?

In a 2008 study, 93 percent of teenage drivers play loud music while driving.

Then in a 2001 study it was discovered that reaction time slows as much as 20% when someone is subjected to loud volume.

In fact, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is the leader of the nation’s anti-distracted campaign said that he has talked to several teen drivers that said music is a big distraction to them while driving.

A junior in high school Jake Williams said that he was so wrapped up in a song that was playing loudly in his car that he drove straight through a stop sign.

Another student, Jennifer Budres, 17, wants to be a broadcaster. One of her assignments from her television product teacher was to find a topic for a teen-driving media campaign.

Budres decided to focus her campaign on the driving distractions of loud music.

During her research she found:
  • Loud music prevents drivers from hearing sirens and horns
  • Nearly all states treat loud music as an annoyance offense, not a distracted-driving violation.
  • A 1995-99 Highway Safety Research Center study showed that adjusting a car radio or CD player was the second most prevalent in car distraction.
  • Car radio volume typically exceeds 100 decibels, considerably louder than the maximum sustained exposure recommended for humans.
  • A Ford Motor Co. system allows parents to limit audio levels in young drivers’ cars to 56 percent less than maximum volume.
Budres said she is not sure if loud music should be outlawed.

“We’re just suggesting that drivers keep their car radio volume about halfway from the loudest setting," she said.


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