Motorists looking to reduce the number of distractions in their car should consider switching to the radio or reducing the number of songs on their MP3 player.
Research by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) found that drivers using MP3 players look away from the road more frequently and for longer durations than those listening to the radio.
It also found that the larger the library of songs on an MP3 player, the bigger the distraction the device poses.
HFES asked 50 people aged between 18 and 25 to put a specific song on an MP3 player while using a driving simulator. A comparison trial asked its participants to find a specific radio frequency.
Those using MP3 players were found to have a more degraded driving performance than their radio counterparts.
“A simple task of selecting a song from a list can seduce you into looking away from the road longer than you might have intended, and long looks away from the road can kill," said HFES research John D. Lee.