Could Listening To Certain Music In The Car Make Your Drive More Dangerous?


I hope that’s her “safe driving” mix! | Source: ShutterStock

There is not enough space here for me to fully delve into all of my anxieties around driving, but let’s just say, I hate, loathe, abhor, detest it. Listening to music is actually one of the things that kind of calms me down when I do have to drive. However, after reading about the results of a new experiment, I’m now a little worried about my music selection.

The experiment was conducted by and found some songs that actually have a negative effect on your ability to drive safely. They used an app to track eight drivers, collecting data on aspects such as speed and acceleration. They looked both at when drivers weren’t listening to music, and then again when they flipped on their tunes. For example, a woman listening to hip-hop was noted as driving more recklessly than the others, while a man listening to heavy metal drove faster.

Afterward, psychologist Dr. Simon Moore took a look at all the driving footage and concluded, “Music that is noisy, upbeat and increases your heart rate is a deadly mix.” Yikes! He elaborated, talking about how with those types of songs, there’s a chance you’ll get distracted from your drive as you get caught up in the groove of the music. Or maybe you don’t realize that you’re speeding up your car when listening to a quick song.

As far as specific songs go danger-wise? Unless you’re planning on getting in a Delorean and driving into the past, there’s a good chance you’ll be safe from these since their list doesn’t really cover that much current material. “Hey Mama” from the Black Eyed Peas is number one (do you guys even remember that one?). Other artists whose songs made the top ten danger list include Kanye West, Fall Out Boy and Guns N’ Roses.

So, while these selections may make an awesome playlist for the gym, they seem like a big no-no for driving. What IS okay for driving? Dr. Moore says songs that actually have a rhythm similar to your heartbeat are good bets. One example, they provide? “The Scientist” by Coldplay. YESSSSSSSS. No joke, it’s already on my driving mix.

One question I had though is what exactly Dr. Moore meant by “noisy.” Like a lot of instruments on the track, or also the volume they cranked up their stereos? I say this because loud volume while driving is one of my biggest pet peeves as a passenger. When I’m the driver, I keep my music really low since I’m worried that I won’t hear sirens or something, but so many of my friends just crank their music up to ridiculous levels, and I’m always worried about how dangerous that could be.

Driving is a big responsibility and you really have to put safety first. Be really attentive to what sorts of distractions could be going on for you and eliminate those. The well-being of you and your passengers is the most important!

Do you listen to music when you drive? What’s your favorite kind of music to listen to? Do you ever worry that listening to music affects your ability to safely drive? Tell us in the comments!


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