Listening to the radio: Minimal risk
AAA looked at several potentially hazardous distractions that can divert a driver's attention.
Participants in the study were asked to perform each task in three separate settings:
- While not driving.
- While driving in a simulator.
- While driving a car in a real-world situation.
Various measures were used to determine the level of distraction, including brake reaction time and following distance, brainwave activity, and eye and head movements.
In the early stages of testing, the subjects listened to the radio. They adjusted the radio to a comfortable volume before driving and then were not allowed to change the station.
The bottom line? Using your car's radio to hum along with your favorite tunes or to catch up on the latest news does not significantly distract you, the study found.
"We are not raising the alarm about people listening to the radio," Hamilton says.