Your driving style could be affected by the music you listen to.
For many of us, music is part of the driving experience. It makes our daily commute a little more interesting, and is the perfect accompaniment to a long journey. Judging by the results a recent experiment, however, we may want to choose our driving music a little more carefully in future.
In the study – conducted by Confused.com – four men and four women were asked to drive 500 miles each – the first 250 miles with music and the final 250 miles without music. The changes in their driving styles were recorded and compared against the genre of music that they were listening to at the time.
Participants’ driving style were monitored using Confused.com’s app, MotorMate. The app recorded the driver’s speed, acceleration and braking in order to examine the ways in which their driving changed when music was thrown into the equation.
So, what songs should you avoid if you want to stay safe behind the wheel?
Top 10 most dangerous driving songs
- Hey Mama – The Black Eyed Peas
- Dead on Arrival – Fall Out Boy
- Paper Planes – M.I.A
- Walkie Talkie Man – Steriogram
- Paradise City – Guns N’ Roses
- How You Remind Me – Nickelback
- Hit the Road, Jack – Ray Charles
- Get Rhythm – Johnny Cash
- Heartless – Kanye West
- Young, Wild and Free – Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa (feat. Bruno Mars)
According to the results, the female participant who listened to a hip hop playlist drove the most aggressively. Late braking and fast acceleration were both dangerous driving traits which she displayed.
Another music genre which affected the participants’ driving style was rock. Male drivers drove a lot faster whilst listening to a rock playlist. Whilst these results may not surprise you, they also, perhaps unexpectedly, found that drivers listening to a classical playlist drove much more erratically than they did when they weren’t listening to any music.
Explaining the connection
The results aren’t great if you’re a Black Eyed Peas fan with a particular penchant for Hey Mama, but what exactly is it about Will.i.am and his mates which makes us drive dangerously?
London University psychologist, Dr. Simon Moore, reviewed the findings and spoke to Confused.com. He explained, “Music that is noisy, upbeat and increases your heart rate is a deadly mix. In addition, a fast tempo can cause people to subconsciously speed up to match the beat of the song.”
Moore goes on to suggest that the safest driving songs should have a tempo which mimics a human heartbeat. Slow, calming music, therefore, should be at the top of our driving playlists.
Image via Alan Cleaver.