Are podcasts a danger to driving? Confused.com reveals all

Posted in: Driving Tips.

Are podcasts a danger to driving Confused.com reveals all.
Are podcasts a danger to driving Confused.com reveals all.

Copyright free image from Pixabay

Are podcasts a danger to driving? Confused.com reveals all.

Around 12 million UK drivers have listened to podcasts when they drive, and in a survey nearly two thirds of drivers (61%) said they found them distracting

  • One in eight (13%) UK motorists who listen to podcasts said they struggle to concentrate on the road when listening
  • Radio shines as the least distracting form of entertainment for those trickier journeys that need more focus, whereas podcasts reign supreme for the simpler drives
  • com teams up with Associate Professor of Driver Behaviour at Cranfield University, Dr Lisa Dorn to analyse how the brain handles complex driving and podcasts.
  • com release expert guide to explore whether podcasts are a danger to driving, as one in ten (10%) of UK drivers admit they’re confused about the safest form of driving entertainment.

Millions of motorists opt to listen to podcasts while driving, however this could be creating more of a distraction than they realise.

That’s according to new research from Confused.com, which found approximately 12 million UK motorists have listened to a podcast while they’re driving, but nearly two thirds (61%) found them to be a distraction. It’s known that music with a certain BPM can cause us to become heavy footed on the accelerator, but what about the distraction of an engrossing podcast or audio book?

With one in five (22%) UK motorists who listen to podcasts saying they’ve forgotten parts of their journey while listening, it’s no wonder there’s so much confusion about what the safest form of entertainment is. And further to that, one in ten (10%) drivers who listen to audiobooks say they find listening to them  while driving distracting.

But it’s not all bad news for podcast fans as they definitely have their place. Associate Professor of Driver Behaviour Dr Lisa Dorn explains “The presence of cityscapes, curves and traffic in a complex drive can significantly contribute to the mental workload experienced by the driver.

“The additional stream of information when listening to a podcast or audiobook makes it more likely that the driver will be distracted in a complex drive situation.”

However, Dr Dorn also says:

“Listening to a radio station is likely to be less distracting than listening to a podcast or audiobook.

“These activities [podcasts and audiobooks] may actually improve driving performance in simple environments. This is not the case in complex environments, however.”

One in ten (10%) drivers admit they’re confused what the safest form of entertainment is while driving. To provide some clarity, Confused.com’s expert guide explains what is best to listen to, based on the type of drive you’re on.

Confused.com car insurance expert Alex Kindred says:

“Listening to a podcast while driving is clearly popular among motorists, but research shows that drivers are finding this to be distracting.

“But is it safer than fast-paced music? If you’re looking for a stress-free drive it can be confusing to know what to opt for – an educational podcast or your favourite playlist. To help understand the impact of different types of entertainment on our driving, we’ve partnered with Dr Lisa Dorn of Cranfield University in our expert guide.

“According to Dr Dorn, listening to the radio is likely to be less distracting. But, podcasts fans can be safe in the knowledge that turning on their favourite podcast on a more simple journey could in fact help them focus. “


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