Warren Brodsky is Professor of Music Psychology and Director of the Music Science Laboratory, in the Department of the Arts at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.
He is also the author of ‘Driving With Music: Cognitive-Behavioural Implications’, the first full-length text which explores the everyday use of music listening while driving a car. The book presents the relationship between cars and music in an effort to understand how music behaviour in the car can either enhance driver safety or place the driver at increased risk of accidents.
Warren trained as an orchestra percussionist, elementary school music teacher, and music psychotherapist. After a ten-year clinical practice, Warren completed a PhD in Psychology. He implemented a 10-month clinical trial to test an intervention for the management of performance anxiety among UK symphony orchestras.
Warren received a post-doctorial position in Music Cognition at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and subsequently served as the “Joseph and Francis Schillinger Research Fellow of Music Science”.
Presentation: Understanding the ill-effects of in-car music; how to adapt and modify playlists for increased driver safety
This presentation will offer a wide-ranging picture of the cognitive-behavioural implications that surface from driving with music. While traffic safety research has made great strides in exploring and explaining a host of causes for driver distraction that can lead to incidents, crashes, and fatalities, for the most part music (the actual sounds from songs and tracks heard in the background) has not been considered.
Yet, all drivers listen to music while driving; we not only accompany driving with music via standard broadcast signal radio and platforms based on internet or satellite, but we bring CDs and portable music players into the vehicle.
The auto industry has reinforced this behaviour by designing infotainment systems that feature docking cradles, auxiliary inputs, memory card slots, USB sockets, and wireless Bluetooth interfaces – all of which aid us to couple mobile smartphones that are pre-loaded with our preferred music libraries that we so eagerly scroll through when on the road.
There is evidence that the same music style or piece may cause no harm to one driver while causing havoc to another driver, and that the same music style or piece may cause no harm on one trip on one day while causing havoc to the same driver on a different tip another day. Driving a car in traffic is certainly not like any other activity we engage in while listening to music (such as dancing, eating, exercising, learning, loving, and relaxing).
Namely, the music we choose as a background for actions and events in our everyday lives might not be the most appropriate (or safe) music to accompany driving a car. All drivers, especially the young, need to become aware that they must adapt and modify their personalised preferred playlists (based on the ill-effects that some musics cause while driving), and that such efforts are a necessary form of self-mediated intervention to increase driver safety.