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Study finds that radio football commentary significantly distracts driving football fans

Listening to football commentary on the radio while driving is as dangerous a distraction as using a hand-held mobile phone, scientists have found.

An investigation by the University of Leicester for esure insurance found that drivers behave more erratically when listening to sport on the radio.

Football fans and non-football fans were asked to use a driving simulator in a motorway scenario while listening to commentary from a live football match.

The study found that the driving behaviour of the fans became considerably more erratic during the match, especially at climactic moments in the game such as penalties or free kicks, while the non-football fans’ driving behaviour remained consistent.

“It is widely accepted that the distraction of talking on a hand-held mobile phone may lead to accidents,” said the University of Leicester’s Professor Michael Pont. “But other activities may have a similar impact – such as listening to sport on the radio.”

According to the report, which is entitled Football Focus, around two million motorists have had a near miss or an accident while listening to sport commentary.

Matt Rigby

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