Jul 19, 2005

Singing Is SAFE!

LONDON (Reuters) - Motorists who enjoy a sing-along while driving tend to concentrate more and fall asleep less than their silent counterparts, new research showed on Tuesday.

However, drivers should avoid overly rousing tunes or complex rhythms which can divert attention away from the road.

"Singing while driving stimulates not only the mind but also the body which in turn produces heightened alertness and reduced fatigue," said Dr Nicola Dibben, a music psychologist from the University of Sheffield. She said music was more effective than silence, conversation or talk radio in achieving an optimal state of alertness.

"Singing may be less distracting than conversation because drivers recall words to songs they already know, or because it is fairly easy to learn the words to music where it uses repeated lyrics."

The survey of 1,780 people carried out on behalf of Privilege Insurance found 63 percent of safe drivers -- those who had not been in an accident for four years or more -- said which they listened to while driving made them feel calmer. Just under a quarter said music aided concentration.

Driving enhancing music might include such favourites as "Don't Cha Wanna Ride" by soul sensation Joss Stone or the slow-paced classical rondo "Canon in D" by Pachelbel. But tunes like The Prodigy's "Firestarter" or Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1" should be avoided, as they "divert motorists attention away from the roads, lead to greater driver aggression and reckless motoring behaviour," Dibben said.

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