Exploring an alternative in-car music background designed for driver safety Academic Article uri icon


  • Young drivers listen to highly energetic aggressive music of a fast-tempo and accentuated beat at elevated volumes. They are not aware of the effects that music may have on perception, performance, and control of the vehicle. The crux of the matter is not the use of music per se, but rather the abuse of music that is hazardous. The current study developed a viable alternative music background for in-car listening towards improved driver safety. After a group of everyday listeners confirmed the experimental music as suitable for in-car music listening, 22 drivers each drove four trips while listening to either preferred music CDs or the experimental background, then 31 drivers each drove ten trips while listening to the alternative background. Study A demonstrated criterion related validity, although the experimental background preoccupied less attention. While Study B indicated habituation effects, drivers reported ever increasing levels of positive mood states throughout.

publication date

  • March 1, 2012