The dangers of texting and driving, using apps like Snapchat while driving, and yakking while driving are all well documented and accounted for. However, a rather ignored dilemma is listening while driving. Whether it be through the radio, an external stereo system, or a phone, listening while driving is a growing problem with the expansion of the digital world.
Most drivers fallaciously believe that as long as they can see the road, they should be safe to drive. However, this is not the case. Keeping all of your senses engaged – not just your eyesight – is absolutely vital to having a safe driving experience. Your ears have to be just as focused as your eyes when you’re on the road.
A Plethora of Problems
Much like other forms of distracted driving, listening and driving has evolved from its early stages. Internal car radios – a pain to adjust – have been distracting drivers since the early 20th century and are still a problem today. The Sony Walkman, and a series of different Apple devices have also functioned as the primary source of music in the car in the decades that followed.
Nowadays, however, there are a number of troubling trends that threaten to make the roads even more dangerous. Most shockingly, more and more drivers are beginning to use their headphones while driving. Not only does this block out all external noises, it also let’s the driver’s mind roam free, taking his/her focus away from the road. In fact, any form of music in the car diverts the driver’s mind from what’s actually important.
Researchers from the Journal of Accident Analysis and Prevention have found that listening to music causes a significant increase in the amount of driving errors – especially in inexperienced drivers.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t listen to music at all. While that may be ideal, it’s quite unrealistic and even I enjoy listening to music in the car. However, we should remember that everything is good in moderation: you just have to know how to control yourself.
Excess in Moderation
Cutting out your poor listening and driving habits is easier said than done. Hopefully, the following tips can help reduce your risk of getting into an accident:
- Keep it low. You should always be able to hear to what’s going on around you – don’t compromise your alertness for music. Your sense of hearing can alert you to a problem with your car, or some sort of emergency situation outside – it is a vital component of driving.
- Prepare beforehand. If you’re using a phone to listen to music, then create a playlist before you get into the car. Listening and driving can be very similar to texting and driving when you have to pay attention to your phone in order to switch the song. Prepare beforehand and you should be fine.
- Be smart. It is never a good idea to drive with headphones plugged in. Use common sense and don’t make decisions that will obviously put you in harm’s way.
As long as you learn to control yourself, jamming out in your car should no longer be a problem!
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an automobile accident due to another driver’s negligence, contact my office immediately. As your Ohio car accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 855.800.0384.