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TCTI: Too Crazy To Ignore

Dave Ross

Is it dangerous to drive while listening to radio?

There have been studies in the past showing that when certain kinds of people listen to certain kinds of radio, they can get distracted. (AP Photo/file)

There have been studies in the past showing that when certain kinds of people listen to certain kinds of radio, they can get distracted.

For example - in 2009, a study by Britain's University of Leicester put soccer fans and non-soccer fans in a driving simluator and had them listen to a socccer game. They found that when the match got exciting, the soccer fans driving behavior became erratic - with the drivers changing speed, and driving too close to the car in front.

Where as the non-soccer fans listening to the same broadcast were unfazed.

And now there's yet another study on radio listening and driving - this one testing the effect of music.

A Dutch researcher at the University of Groningen put 47 students in a driving simulator and had them listen to their favorite playlist. She found that - not only did the music not impair their ability to safely follow the car in front - but those who drove with their favorite music actually responded to changing conditions faster than those driving without music. And the louder the music, the better!

It's important to note - they were asked to pick favorite and familiar songs - not something jarring and strange so - you want to be careful.

By the way, scientists still have not determined the effect on drivers of gripping radio commentary - but not to worry - with today's piece I'm done for the week so, on your way.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

Tune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

  • Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FMTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

About the Author


Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.

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