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What Are The Effects Of Aggressive Music On Driving?

Feb 2, 2008
There may be a time that you have listened to a piece of music that has altered the way you drive your vehicle. You may have done this yourself or heard your parents tell stories of how they would be driving down the road and a good 'Journey' tune would come on the radio, resulting in them driving like maniacs down the roads of their teenage and young adult years.

Things have changed, though. 'Journey' is certainly not considered aggressive music this day and age, but we hear the sounds of rap reverberating from the inside of cars and the dark gothic tunes of Marilyn Manson provoking some head-banging at the stop light. What happens sometimes is that the head-banging doesn't stop, the foot gets heavy, steering becomes over exaggerated, and the car ends up wrapped around a telephone pole. This scenario has been played over and over time and time again.

Since the realization that aggressive music may influence driving, there have been a variety of studies conducted to prove or disprove this theory. When some individuals were asked about music and their driving habits, some said that heavy metal music and other aggressive forms of music didn't alter the way they operated their motor vehicle because they said the music relaxed them.

However, there have been others who have been asked how music influences their driving and they will tell you that their attention to the road and traffic decreases. One young man stated in a report that he got so caught up in a song that he would start singing and playing the "air guitar." Suddenly, he would return to reality and realize that he wasn't paying attention to the road or the way he was driving.

And then there are those who love their music loud You may recall earlier in the article a mention of how the sounds of rap and heavy metal such as Marilyn Manson's music reverberates from the cars of many. Even if the aggressive music doesn't cause the driver to drive aggressively, it definitely takes its toll on the rearview mirror.

If you've ever played loud music in your car, you have probably noticed that the rearview mirror likes to dance even if you can't because you're driving. Sometimes the mirror vibrates so hard that you can't see anything in it. This can be very dangerous because you can't see what is behind you, especially when changing lanes. Another negative is when an emergency vehicle is behind you. You can't hear the sirens because of the loud music in your car and chances are you aren't going to see them very well if your rear view mirror is ready to vibrate off of the windshield.

Another factor is the tempo of the music. Listen to a piece of classical music and you might drive like it's Sunday, but listen to something with pounding bass riffs and squealing guitars and you're going to be squealing down the street. However, music tempo can be used to the advantage of the driver if the driver is one who has a propensity to drive according to the tempo. Change the station to something slower to calm yourself down.

So there you have both sides regarding those who say aggressive music doesn't influence the way they drive and those who say that it does. Studies that have been conducted have shown that aggressive music has an influence on some, but it seems that those who say that it doesn't just might be telling the truth since some do not seem to be phased by what is playing on their radio.
About the Author
Aggressive music can be dangerous while driving. Be sure to concentrate on the road and not the music. You don't want to get into an accident and have your car insurance rates go up!
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