New Study Says MP3 Player Usage Compromises Driving Ability

Posted on April 16, 2012

I often talk about the dangers of texting while behind the wheel of an automobile, but a new study sheds some light on a practice that could be just as dangerous.

A new article in a journal called Human Factors shows that a process as seemingly simple as choosing a song from an MP3 player could greatly increase the risk of a crash.  A study was conducted in which 50 persons between the ages of 18 and 25 were tasked with selecting a song from a playlist while driving a vehicle in a simulator environment.  Road conditions were varied by the researchers to reflect regular obstructions such as construction zones along the roadway.

What the study found was that the longer the playlist, the more likely a driver was to have decreased driving performance.  This occurred chiefly because they were forced to constantly glance to the MP3 player to find their song.  Aftermarket controllers, which purport to prevent distractions, were also tested, and researchers found that these controllers actually forced a driver to look away from the road more rather than less.

All in all, researchers say that picking a song from an MP3 player is much more difficult than simply flicking a switch on a radio to go to a new station.

Just when I think I’ve heard about every road danger there is as a car accident attorney in San Bernardino, here comes a new distraction that many people probably don’t think about.  It just goes to show that everyone needs to pay attention to the road at all times.  I know as a personal injury lawyer in San Bernardino how hazardous the road can be, and nothing should be done to further imperil a person’s life.

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