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Does music affect performance on a hazard perception test for cyclists?

Authors
  • Vansteenkiste, Pieter1
  • Vermijs, Flore2
  • Deconinck, Frederik J A1
  • Lenoir, Matthieu1
  • 1 Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 2 Honours Programme in Life Sciences: 'Breaking Frontiers', Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. , (Belgium)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Ergonomics
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2022
Volume
65
Issue
9
Pages
1266–1275
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/00140139.2022.2026491
PMID: 34989317
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Whereas it has been shown that listening to music impairs the detection of auditory and visual signals, it is unclear to what extent music affects a cyclist's ability to detect and interpret hazardous traffic situations. In the current experiment, thirty-seven participants carried out a hazard perception test for cyclists. Participants were divided into three groups: control, passive, or active. The control group did the test without hearing music. The passive and active group did hear music, yet the passive group was asked to ignore the music, while the active group was asked to pay attention to the lyrics. Results showed no differences in reaction rate, reaction time, or gaze behaviour between any of the groups. These findings temper the existing safety concerns about the negative effect of music on traffic safety. Nevertheless, music might still have consequences under certain conditions or in certain risk-groups such as children. Practitioner summary: It is unclear how music affects traffic safety. The current experiment tested to what extent hazard perception was affected by listening actively or passively to music. Under the current experimental conditions, listening to music was found to have no effect on hazard perception. Abbreviation: NHTSA: national highway traffic safety administration; AOI: area of interest; TTFS: time to first saccade; FFD: first fixation duration.

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