Monday, 10 Dec, 2007 Science
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Hard-Rock and Classic Music Could Lead to Road Accidents, New Survey Says

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According to a new survey, conducted by British researchers, listening to certain types of music while driving could cause accidents. Scientists claim that some music genres in some cases are directly related to some serious car accidents. Among such dangerous music types are named hard-rock, hip-hop and classic music. However, drivers disagree with this statement as they say music helps them concentrate on the road.

British psychologists have come to the conclusion that a driver's concentration on the road depends directly on the type of music he/she listens to. They arranged a series of experimental situations, in which drivers, where supposed to listen to different types of music while driving. These experiments showed that listening to silent music did not affect the driver, as thought there was no music playing at all. On the other hand drivers where unconsciously gaining speed and paid less attention to the road when fast and emotional music played.

Psychologists from other countries, namely from Russia say that it is a well known fact that acoustic vibrations have a certain effect on the human body. Elena Rusalkina, deputy director of Russian Institute of Ecopsychology says that "hard" music makes a person more aggressive and this person would subconsciously tend to put out this aggression by gaining speed in order to raise the adrenaline level in the blood.

Some experts are of opinion that too much silent and steady music is also not the best solution for the road as it can calm the driver to such condition, that he/she will lose control over the road. Thus another Russian specialist in psychology, Maxim Levi, makes a contrary suggestion. He says that drivers should listen to rhythmical and fast music to create a sense of motion.

Despite the fact that British researchers relate the music playing in the car at the time of the accident with the accident itself, the police treated this statement with skepticism, since there is no statistical data to be found on what music played in a specific vehicle at the moment of the accident. Moreover, there are no documents to regulate what type of music should be allowed or disallowed for listening during driving.

Insurance companies from the US conducted a survey among drivers who like listening to music in the car. The survey showed that 65% of the questioned drivers claimed they were more concentrated on the road while listening to their favorite music; 14% said that there were some compositions, which made them step violently the gas pedal; only 9% said that music distracts their attention from the road.

Psychologists claim that listening to music while driving is a positive thing, yet there is no statistical data to show how many night accidents where avoided because drivers were listening to the radio during long distance driving.

We often see young people, who jerk their limbs to the rhythm of the music in their earphones. Experts consider that such people could react inadequately to the music while on the road.

Thus even thought this research of the British scientists is very helpful, people, whose behavior depends a lot on the music they listen, should make a decision themselves, whether should or should not take the wheel.

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