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BK Blog Post
Posted by Jonathan K, Full Stack Web Developer, Envato.
I love programming, web development and I have been a full-stack web developer for past 6 years. I have a full-time job at Envato which is one of the top 10 places to work in Australia.
The Ipod and smartphones have revolutionized the way that we listen to music in a similar way the Sony Walkman did in the 1980's. We can now carry around our music collections and listen whether we are walking down the street, riding the bus, sipping a latte in the café, or while sitting on the couch at home. But the latest trend is...listening with your headphones on while driving.
There are tons of manufacturers making cars so that your smartphones ( Android, iOS, Windows ) can be hooked up directly to your stereo. Plenty of aftermarket gadgets are available to play your music collection through the radio as well. But the truth is, most people do not have new model cars with stereo or usb input jacks, and do not want to spend extra money just for the privilege of listening to their music collections through their car speakers.
So they just listen to their playlist using their smartphones just like they would anywhere else, headphones on, music turned up.
The big question is, does listening to the music with your headphones on while driving affect your ability to navigate safely amongst other drivers?
On one hand, how different is it than having the music playing at top volume through your car speakers? The outside noise is blocked out despite the music listening method you choose. You are also less likely to be flipping through CD's or fiddling with the radio if you have your favorite playlist already set up on your smartphone or Ipod. On the other hand, with the ability to carry your entire music collection on your smart gadget, there is always that "one song" that you "need" to hear "right now", increasing the likelihood that you'll spend a bit of time looking down (away from the road) while scrolling through the menu.
So, the answer to the driving safety question is, well, yes and no. Yes, it will affect your driving because it is another gadget in your car to play with while you're driving. Any additional distractions always have an effect on your ability to concentrate fully on getting to the place you want to go. And no, in a relative sense, listening to your music on your Ipod with your headphones on probably is not any more dangerous than listening to your stereo playing full blast. And it is certainly much safer than chatting on your cell phone; mind elsewhere, while weaving through traffic. So...even though it is a bit strange to see people drive by with their headphones on, let the music play!