Playing loud music at the end of a stress-filled day is a great way to unwind, but should you do it while driving? There are so many distractions that can impact your ability to focus on the road, and unfortunately, turning up the volume in the car is on the list.
Anderson Cummings explains why playing music loudly can affect your ability to drive safely and how it also lessens the safety of others sharing the road.
If you were injured because of another driver’s negligent actions, we are here to help. Our Fort Worth auto crash attorneys have extensive experience and a history of proven results.
Call 24/7 to discuss your situation in a FREE case review. (817) 920-9000
What Are the Risks of Driving While Playing Loud Music?
Having a good stereo is important to many drivers, but should you blast the volume while driving? Here are a few of the ways studies show how loud music may increase the risk of a crash:
Significantly Impairs a Driver’s Reaction Time
Multiple studies show that turning up the volume while driving creates certain risks for drivers. For instance, on average, a driver’s reaction time was reduced by 20 percent. That delay can be the difference between stopping in time to avoid a crash and causing serious harm to yourself and others.
Can Negatively Impact Driver Mood
Another study revealed how the mood, tempo and style of music can be a stressor to drivers. Playing loud music significantly impacted the mood of drivers and how well they performed. Drivers listening to upbeat music (a tempo of 120 beats per minute or more), for instance, were more likely to speed. Aggressive music resulted in drivers more easily becoming irritated and driving recklessly.
Drivers Distracted By the Music Not Focusing on the Road
A study in Israel showed that 98 percent of listeners made more driving errors when listening to their music. In comparison, when instructors chose more calming music, that number was reduced to 77 percent.
Unfortunately, teens are especially at risk for being involved in a crash due to playing music too loud. Overall, teens are less experienced drivers and often less mature. When there are one or more teens in the car, a teen driver may get encouraged to turn the music up and drive faster. The loud music combined with rambunctious passengers can make it difficult to focus on the road. It can also make it easier to miss things like a stopped vehicle, jaywalking pedestrian or red light traffic signal.
Drivers Unable to Hear Horns or Sirens of Approaching Vehicles
Road safety involves more than what drivers can see behind the wheel. Hearing what is happening around you also impacts your ability to drive defensively and avoid a crash. Driving while playing loud music significantly affects a driver’s ability to hear anything going on around him or her, such as:
- Drivers honking their horns as a warning
- Sirens of approaching emergency or police vehicles
- A child or someone behind your vehicle yelling at you to stop
- Train whistles blowing whistles to keep you off the tracks
Is It Illegal to Play Loud Music While Driving in Fort Worth?
Texas has a noise ordinance that limits the volume to 60 decibels (roughly the sound you would hear in a busy restaurant). This ordinance only applies between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., however.
In reality, it is not illegal to play loud music while driving in Texas. The problem is that many drivers get distracted and commit more driving errors and violations when listening to loud music. If a driver is caught speeding or blowing through traffic signals, he or she can expect to be cited. Additionally, if that driver causes a crash, he or she would likely be liable for the damages.
If a driver is cited for a traffic violation and is caught playing loud music in violation of the Texas noise ordinance, he or she could be fined an additional $500.
What if I Am Hit By a Driver Playing Loud Music?
You may have an eligible claim against the driver in this situation. However, this is something that can only be determined on a case-by-case basis.
For instance, if the driver who struck you was blasting music at the time, it may be possible to prove negligence due to distracted driving.
This is something you should discuss with an experienced lawyer. If you have a valid case, you may be eligible to recover damages that include:
- Emergency vehicle transportation to the hospital
- Diagnostic testing and other emergency medical treatment
- Mobility assistance devices, such as a wheelchair or prosthetic
- Hospital stays related to your crash injuries
- Physical therapy
- Follow-up doctor’s appointments
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost wages
- And much more
Need Legal Help After a Crash That Caused You Harm?
Anderson & Cummings has the knowledge and experience to help you hold the at-fault driver accountable for your damages.
Whether a driver was distracted by loud music or committed other traffic violations, we are prepared to fully investigate the cause of the crash and your injuries.
Your initial case review is completely free. While there is no obligation to hire our services, you can do so with no upfront costs or fees. We only get paid if you do.
Call to discuss your situation today. (817) 920-9000