Noise Slows Reaction Time

“The louder the noise, the slower you react,” says The Toronto Star. These are the resuits of a study conducted at Memorial University, New foundland, Canada, by researcher Duane Button, who had people perform physical and mental tasks while listening to noises at various levels. He found that exposure to office background noise of 53 decibels slowed a person’s reaction time by 5 percent, while industrial-strength noise of 95 decibels slowed it by 10 percent. Although the differences in reaction time are counted in mere fractions of a second, the report points out that those fractions make a big difference on the road.” Even a delayed response of .035 of a second, Button says, can be a significant factor in either having an accident or not having one.

AWAKE Magazine. January 8, 2005.

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