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Don’t underestimate how distracting loud music is to drivers

We hear a lot these days about the dangers of driving while texting, talking on the phone and using social media. However, there’s another distraction that’s been around for decades and becoming even more dangerous. That’s driving while listening to loud music.

While young people are probably more likely to crank up their music than older drivers, seniors have been known to rock out to the music of their youth while driving. When it’s coming through state-of-the-art speaker systems, it sounds better than ever — and can put you in a world that takes your attention away from the road. Loud, surround-sound music can also prevent you from hearing horns, sirens and other sounds of the road.

Another danger of listening to music (or anything on the radio) is channel surfing. The number of satellite radio channels is well into the hundreds. When drivers scroll through them to find just the right style of music for their mood, they can easily take their eyes off the road.

Further, with CD players that hold multiple discs, drivers can also get distracted by determining which disc their favorite song is on and what cut it is. Of course, many systems also allow you to connect your iPod or other device to your audio system to play music or podcasts.

We all like to think that we’re good at multi-tasking. However, one hearing instrument specialist says that the brain has actually been shown to really be able to focus on one thing at a time. He points out that when people are listening to one of their favorite songs, “[y]ou’re concentrating on that, you’re thinking of the lyrics, the music. When it’s that loud, that’s the focus of your attention.”

If you or a loved one is injured in an accident caused by another driver, it may be worthwhile to make sure that investigators have looked into not just whether the driver was talking, texting or surfing the web on his or her phone, but whether the radio, a CD or an iPod was playing.

Your attorney can help ensure that this is investigated. If a driver was determined to have been distracted by music, sports or even a particularly-spirited political debate playing in the vehicle, it may help your chances of obtaining compensation for your injuries and damages.

Source: CBS 19 Newsplex, “Effects of Listening to Loud Music While Driving,” Talya Cunningham, accessed Jan. 25, 2017

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