Who hears more of the traffic buzz – a driver using his in-car music system or a bike rider using an iPod and earphones? Cyclists are often criticised for listening to music as they ride. It turns out that they likely hear much more of the road environment than a car driver does, even when that driver has no music playing.
It does depend on what kind of earphones you use, and of course the music volume.
But a driver who has the stereo playing certainly hears less of what’s going on than any cyclist listening to music. (And of course, not mentioned in this research, is that the driver also sees less, because of his vehicle blind spots.)
RideOn, “Australia’s most widely-read bike magazine”, did the research.