Fiddling with the music player in your car while driving is as bad as speaking on the phone, because it can hamper your reaction time, finds a study by a two-member team from the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B). The study assumes significance, said researchers, as operating a music player while driving is not “perceived as risky” unlike a mobile phone conversation. The two-member team found that distraction caused by a music player and phone conversation reduced the driver’s probability to cross the signal intersection at the onset of the yellow signal. A yellow signal is a warning sign for the driver to slow down and stop before the traffic light turns red. A wrong decision, said researchers, can result in the driver abruptly stopping at intersections, resulting in an increased chances of a crash.“In transportation studies, the duration of the signal changing from green to yellow is considered to be a critical safety situation because a wrong decision during this period can lead to accidents at signal intersections and that can be fatal,” said Pushpa Choudhary, co-author, Transportation systems Engineering, department of civil engineering, IIT-Bombay.