Music and driving behaviour

Dana Olivieri, Eugene Chekaluk, Julia Irwin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


In-vehicle music listening is a popular activity. With respect to listening to music whilst driving, two conflicting approaches exist in the literature. Whereas the information-distraction hypothesis suggests that preferred music listening may be detrimental to driving performance, the mood-arousal hypothesis proposes it may facilitate driving performance. The primary aim of the present study was to provide further support for one of the two competing hypotheses. The study also aimed to identify the role of music with violent lyrics on driving performance. Participants were 49 individuals who completed four driving tasks on a driving simulator whilst listening to different musical segments. Although there was no effect of music with respect to collisions, a higher proportion of drivers proceeded through red lights whilst listening to preferred compared to non-preferred music. Furthermore, the influence of music on speed and lane deviation depended upon whether the music was preferred or non-preferred, whether or not the lyrics of the musical stimuli were present, and whether or not the music was associated with violent lyrical content. The results have implications for disentangling effects in future in-vehicle music listening investigations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 4th International conference on driver distraction and inattention (DDI2015)
Place of PublicationSydney, New South Wales
PublisherARRB Group
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventInternational driver distraction and inattention conference (4th : 2015) - Sydney, New South Wales
Duration: 9 Nov 201511 Nov 2015


ConferenceInternational driver distraction and inattention conference (4th : 2015)
CitySydney, New South Wales

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    Olivieri, D., Chekaluk, E., & Irwin, J. (2015). Music and driving behaviour. In Proceedings of the 4th International conference on driver distraction and inattention (DDI2015) (pp. 1-13). Sydney, New South Wales: ARRB Group.