Why do you turn the music down to find an address?

Friday, May 5th, 2023

Have you ever found yourself driving along a street, trying to find a house number? It’s difficult to find, so you reach over and turn the music down as you try to look at the numbers.

Most people have done this at some point, or they may have turned the music down when they entered heavy traffic. When driving is easy, music is just part of the experience. When it becomes difficult, it’s one of the first things to go.

Why do we do this? Does it actually have any impact on driving?

Music is distracting to drivers

People often laugh about this phenomenon, saying that they “needed to see better” so they turned off the music. It sounds nonsensical, but there’s a fundamental truth there.

The reality is that music is a major distraction. It has previously been linked to more driving mistakes and car accidents. Your brain can only process so much information at one time, so forcing it to process the music that it’s listening to means you simply aren’t as attentive to what is happening around the car.

This is also why someone who is singing along with their music or playing it at an extremely loud volume may become distracted and cause a car accident. To test this, one study even allowed subjects to bring their own music to driving tests. They found that drivers made more mistakes when they got to choose the music that they liked the most, probably because it just demanded more of their attention.

If you’re injured in a crash like this, caused by another driver, you need to know how to seek compensation for lost wages, medical bills and many other costs.