Beware of auditory distractions behind the wheel

Distracted driving remains a serious and deadly problem in South Dakota and across the country. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted drivers killed more than 3,000 individuals in the U.S. in just one recent year.

If you spot distracted drivers, it is best to put some distance between your vehicle and theirs. While it may be simple to avoid drivers using smartphones, identifying auditory distractions may not be so easy. Still, like with manual and visual ones, auditory distractions may put your life in danger.

Hearing vehicle and environmental sounds

When you are behind the wheel, it is important to listen to the sounds your vehicle makes. After all, your car’s engine or tires may make some noise before failing. You must also listen for approaching emergency vehicles. Therefore, both your car’s stereo and your conversations should stay at a reasonable volume.

Listening to up-tempo music

According to one study, listening to music above 120 beats per minute may increase car accident risk. When you listen to up-tempo music, you may be increasingly likely to engage in dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding or unsafe lane changes. Consequently, you may want to pick mellower music for the car and leave faster selections for somewhere else.

Paying close attention to a podcast

Listening to podcasts may not only help you become an interesting person, but it may also pass the time on your trip. If you engross yourself in a podcast and neglect the driving task, though, you may not be able to maintain control of your vehicle.

Ultimately, while there is nothing inherently wrong with listening to music, podcasts or your passengers, minimizing auditory distractions is an important component of staying safe on the road.