You may love to listen to music in your car. You have an iTunes playlist you regularly update or you like to stream Spotify on your way home from work each day. You like keeping your tunes loud and listening to tracks with a fast beat. But sometimes, your girlfriend bugs you about that. She’s sure that you are increasing your risk of being involved in a car accident because of your music-listening habits. Yet, can listening to loud music really increase your risks of a car crash?

Listening to music and driving risks

According to a 2017 study by British psychologist and professor Dr. Simon Moore, songs with a fast beat can cause drivers to speed up to match the beat of the song. He identified that songs with beats of more than 100 beats per minute lead drivers to drive faster. Another study has showed that when drivers listen to music at more than 95 decibels, their reaction times slow by 20%.

So, if you speed up to match the beat of your favorite songs, or blast them loud, you can increase your chances of being involved in a distracted driving accident. You are more likely to speed and weave through traffic.

When music becomes distracting

If you become distracted by your music, you also could miss seeing a vehicle in your blind spot. Your reaction time could dramatically drop and you rear-end a vehicle when traffic slows down quickly. You could suffer a serious injury in a crash, or cause someone else to become injured.

So, you should keep safety in mind when listening to music in your car. You can turn the volume down and choose to listen to less intense songs. You can spend time at home listening to your loud, fast music, further protecting your safety and that of those you share the road with.