Why do we turn off the radio when we park?

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So… you’ve decided to go downtown by car. Even though you know that taking the bus is just as fast and you don’t have to spend hours looking for a place to park, but since you avoid by any means taking public transport, you risk it all on the turn of a card.

You are lucky, at least you didn’t get stuck in the traffic but, when you’ve finally arrived to your destination, the worst is yet to come. Where the hell do you leave the car?

Take it easy. It’s alright! Finding a spot, sooner or later, it’s just a matter of time. You turn the radio way down low, and you keep on and on, looking for a place until you strike it lucky. That spot is just for you! It’s a bit narrow, but it’s okay, I fit, it’s a must. You stay in parallel with the car right beside your spot, you put it in reverse and… you turn the radio off.

Have you ever noticed? You turn the radio off!

What is it, does the radio make the car bigger? Witchcraft linked to your gear stick? No, is much easier than that: limited attention resources.

We do that curious move of tuning off the radio to eliminate distraction sources. Listening to music is a mentally complex act, therefore our whole brain activity is involved in the reception of frequencies and the musical composition, is for this reason that we need to suppress the task that in the background that complicates our life.

We focus all our resources in the most relevant action in a brief space of time. Something instinctive that helps us complete tasks when we don’t have the brain “autopilot” on. Is for this that music is not a bother when we are doing the way back home daily or when we drive on the highway, when there are barely no cars.

Men are more… selective

No, it’s not about being a weirdo. Most of us do, above all men (but don’t go mad boys, we all have to face our limitations). Being in multitask mode is not that easy for everyone. Younger brains are used to it since they were born with the internet, smartphones and consoles and they are able to pause their brain while they do some other action, like they do when they use the phone while they watch the TV.

Keep your focus on driving

It’s a fact. If you’re driving and you start talking through the handsfree, you can’t focus completly on your driving, one of the most cognitive complex action that people do.

So, if you are walking on the street and you have a phone call, you are most likely to slightly slow down. If you what they are telling you pisses you off, if it’s bad news or if it simply requires more attention, you are going to stop. Your brain can’t handle all at once, not by any means.

This is the kind of reactions we have when it’s pouring rain, when we get lost in the car, or when a driver is not using :DriveSmart. That is to say, when a 100% of our focus is required for something.

What to do? Worrying is not an option. Just let your brain be the one making the decissions, in these cases: don’t forget that it is the most intelligent part of your body. Like when it tells you to install :DriveSmart in your iPhone or Android. There is no reason for place doors on an open field. Brains up!