Driving is a complex skill. It requires you to use not only your feet on the pedals and hands on the wheel but your eyes, ears and brain.
Whatever else you do when in the car reduces your ability to do those things. One thing many people do is listen to podcasts.
Isn’t it just like listening to the radio?
Radio channels often put out the light and breezy content during peak commuting time. News bulletins are short and snappy, and the bulk of the show is jovial presenters playing music, laughing and joking. These shows do not ask too much of you as a listener. They allow you to have them on in the background while concentrating on the road.
Now think about podcasts. Typically you hope to learn something when you listen to them, and as the information is often complex, you need to listen carefully to take it in.
Your brain does not have unlimited power. For all the talk of multi-tasking, if your brain is focused on a podcast, it has less attention available to give to the road.
Some people have podcasts playing everywhere they go. Aside from the immediate distraction they cause, they can also leave your brain frazzled if you never allow yourself time to sit in silence without new information streaming in through your headphone
If a driver injures you in a crash, try and find out if they were listening to anything at the time. If you discover they were listening to a podcast, it might help your legal team argue that the driver was distracted.