Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Can Listening to Radio Sports Increase Your Accident Risks?

A new study in the UK reveals that motorists, who are listening to sports commentary on the radio while driving, can experience a drop in reaction time that is 20% lower than for those who are not listening to sports commentary or paying attention to it. This drop in reaction time is slightly higher than the drop recorded for intoxicated motorists. In other words, that exhilarating sports commentator you're following on the radio, could actually seriously increase your risk of an accident, and you may not even know it.

The Houston Chronicle has a report on the British study, which focused on motorist distractions from sports commentary, just before the soccer World Cup and Wimbledon. Even a drop of 20% in reaction time could add about 20 feet to a car which is traveling at 78 mph. That is enough distance to dramatically increase the risk of colliding with a car in front of you, running off the road, or any other numbers of accident risks.

There’s bad news for Los Angeles car accident lawyers and motorists here. The researchers also believe that Americans probably have sharper reactions to sports coverage on radio than British motorists. American radio announcers tend to be more aggressive about grabbing driver attention. The Houston Chronicle quotes one US radio executive, who says that while listening to audition tapes, the number one factor he has in his mind is whether the sports announcer would be able to take motorist attention away from the road, and toward the game.

Grabbing driver attention might be great for the ratings, but can play havoc on motorists. Distracted driving as a factor in accidents has been receiving a lot of attention around the country, and the efforts that began only with cell phones and text messaging devices, have now expanded to include a host of other distractions. The fact is that motorists are distracted every day by digitized billboards, highway signs, and their fellow passengers. Perhaps it's time to add sports commentators to that list.

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