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New study suggests link between bad driving and listening to heavy metal

A new study has shown that listening to heavy metal music while driving may lead to distraction and erratic driving.

The study, conducted by IAM Roadsmart and auto magazine Auto Express, compared the effects of four different genres of music on driving; heavy metal, pop, hip hop, and classical.

A new study has shown that listening to loud heavy metal music while driving may lead to bad driver behaviour.

The study compared driving behaviour while listening to tracks from Slipknot ((sic)), Taylor Swift (Shake It Off), Kendrick Lamar (HUMBLE), and Johann Sebastian-Bach (Goldberg Variations).

The results stated that the heavier and more extreme the music, the more erratic and dangerous the driver became. Classical music resulted in the driver becoming too relaxed, while listening to pop music appeared to result in the most controlled driving.

Consumer reporter Tristan Shale-Hester drove two laps of the Grand Prix track Red Bull Ring in Austria, executing various acceleration, cornering and speed challenges, ending with a controlled stop at the finish line – all while listening to the aforementioned songs at full volume.

Shale-Hester’s time was 14 seconds slower than his control lap while listening to Slipknot, and also far more erratic than the other tests. Listening to the classical piece by Bach made him 12 seconds slower than the control lap; listening to Kendrick resulted in a bad finish past the line, and the lap while listening to Taylor Swift was the “smoothest in terms of speed consistency.”

IAM Roadsmart Head of Technical Policy Tim Shallcross stated “what is clear is that the ferocious thrash metal really reduced the ability of the driver to get around the track smoothly… That, and high-energy dance music, are designed to be felt as well as heard, and to be listened to at volume. It’s clear neither help when it comes to making exacting driving manoeuvres.”

He also added that “volume is the major factor for concentration and has a big effect. I would certainly advise drivers to dial down the noise when making a manoeuvre — and save the thrash metal for later in the day, or night!”

Via Auto Express.

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June 3, 2019