Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Date

23-6-2015

Session

Session 1 – Lectures Driver Behavior and Naturalistic Studies

Abstract

Drivers engage in a host of driving-unrelated tasks while on the road. Most frequently, drivers listen to music and sing-along with the words in a karaoke fashion. At times drivers accompany songs by pounding-out drum-kicks, fingering guitar-licks, singing background, and even dancing in their seat. However, there is controversy over in-cabin music: Does background music facilitate driver performance via increased arousal leading to more focused concentration, or cause distraction placing drivers at greater risk. In an effort to shed light on the debate over the utility of in-car music, the current study explored how driving tasks might subsequently affect vocal performances during simulated driving. Eighteen young drivers recorded two versions of two songs (baseline vs. low-demand vs. high-demand driving). The results indicate that as the perceptual demands of the primary driving task increase, the performance of the secondary activity (i.e., karaoke-like singing) declines. That is, vocal performances during high-demand driving contained significantly more errors of both intonation/rhythm and lyrics compared to low-demand driving, while both were far less accurate than baseline recordings. Such a picture supports evidence that engaging in music activity does actually preoccupy vital mental resources. In-car music may not necessarily be handled very well, nor is it blocked-out entirely by drivers during high-demand driving – as previously reported in some literature. Singing along with in-cabin music background may contribute to increased risk for incidents, events, and near-crashes, and should be reconsidered by traffic scientists investigating human factors, vehicular control, and road safety.

Rights

Copyright © 2015 the author(s)

DC Citation

Proceedings of the Eighth International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training and Vehicle Design, June 22-25, 2015, Salt Lake City, Utah. Iowa City, IA: Public Policy Center, University of Iowa, 2015: 16-22.

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Jun 23rd, 12:00 AM

Car-aoke: Vocal Performances Indicate Distraction Effects of In-Car Music

Salt Lake City, Utah

Drivers engage in a host of driving-unrelated tasks while on the road. Most frequently, drivers listen to music and sing-along with the words in a karaoke fashion. At times drivers accompany songs by pounding-out drum-kicks, fingering guitar-licks, singing background, and even dancing in their seat. However, there is controversy over in-cabin music: Does background music facilitate driver performance via increased arousal leading to more focused concentration, or cause distraction placing drivers at greater risk. In an effort to shed light on the debate over the utility of in-car music, the current study explored how driving tasks might subsequently affect vocal performances during simulated driving. Eighteen young drivers recorded two versions of two songs (baseline vs. low-demand vs. high-demand driving). The results indicate that as the perceptual demands of the primary driving task increase, the performance of the secondary activity (i.e., karaoke-like singing) declines. That is, vocal performances during high-demand driving contained significantly more errors of both intonation/rhythm and lyrics compared to low-demand driving, while both were far less accurate than baseline recordings. Such a picture supports evidence that engaging in music activity does actually preoccupy vital mental resources. In-car music may not necessarily be handled very well, nor is it blocked-out entirely by drivers during high-demand driving – as previously reported in some literature. Singing along with in-cabin music background may contribute to increased risk for incidents, events, and near-crashes, and should be reconsidered by traffic scientists investigating human factors, vehicular control, and road safety.