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Require Elton John music in cars to improve traffic safety

Can you tell what the driver next to you is listening to? Does she look like she is jamming to bass-laced hip-hop? Does he look like he's wrapped up in the emotion of some easy-listening tunes? According to a recent driving behavior study, you'd be lucky if you hear "The Crocodile Rock" playing in your neighbor's vehicle.

Researchers from London conducted a unique, and limited, traffic safety study that tried to link the differences in in-vehicle music choices to the chance of a motor vehicle accident. As is turns out, listening to Elton John might be a safe driving decision. So buckle up, and hit play on a classic tune like "Tiny Dancer."

Other findings of the study were that listening to Norah Jones and Coldplay led to safer driving. The theory behind these being safer music choices is that the artists' songs are more soothing and "slow-paced" compared to other popular types of music. In particular, hip-hop, heavy metal and dance beats resulted in riskier, more aggressive driving that is connected to traffic accidents.

A surprise twist to the driving study is what reportedly turns out to lead to the most dangerous driving: classical music. NPR doesn't specify exactly why the driving is supposedly more erratic. What do you think the reason might be? Do drivers get sleepy when listening to classical tunes?

A study like this might not be directly helpful in the case of a car accident. In the bigger picture, however, it does connect to the fact that negligent driving can stem from various factors. Our personal injury law firm helps victims of distracted, aggressive and drowsy driving, all forms of negligence, fight for the damages that they need following a crash.

Source: NPR, "Study: Music Affects Driver Safety," Jan. 10, 2013

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