Driving on the road requires attention and focus, and unnecessary activities like listening to one’s phone, watching a movie, and even eating can be fatal. Another habit that could be considered as the biggest risk factor while driving is wearing headphones or earphones.
A study in this regard conducted by the US-based auto manufacturer Ford on such a scenario under controlled situations had astonishing results.
Ford used data collected from more than 2,000 participants immersed in a virtual environment. The researchers developed an application called Eight Dimensions (ATD) for the experiment, which used road sounds such as the whooshing effect produced when a car travels at a high speed, and the siren of an ambulance.
It was determined that more than 40 percent of the volunteers responded positively to the experiment, supporting the hypothesis that wearing headphones while driving is dangerous.
Moreover, the researchers concluded that when headphones were worn during the simulated study, the participants were found to have a 4.2-second delay in responding to sounds from the surrounding environment. While the response time does not seem to be much, situations, where high-speed travel is involved, can potentially lead to fatal accidents and should not be taken lightly.
To increase awareness all around the world, Ford said in a statement that it would release the ATD app in the coming months.