Driving and music go together like peanut butter and jelly. It would be hard to imagine going anywhere in your car without the option to turn on the radio or plug in your music player. But does listening to music make you a better driver or a worse one? The answer is…it depends.
Listening to music has been proven to affect mood, which can in turn affect your driving behavior. Several studies have been conducted on how music affects driving performance, and the results are intriguing.
Benefits of Listening to Music in the Car
When listening to music they enjoy, drivers report being in a better mood than when driving without music. It is also shown to reduce stress and aggression in gridlocked traffic.
Listening to music can keep people awake, aware, and entertained on long drives, which helps combat drowsy driving. Furthermore, listening to music has been shown to improve concentration when it comes to driving tasks like staying within lane markers and matching the speed of the car in front.
Hazards of Listening to Music in the Car
Listening to music you don’t enjoy has the opposite effect on your mood and stress levels. If you can’t find a station playing something you like, it increases your risk of road rage.
A fast tempo may cause drivers to subconsciously speed up to match the beat of the song. It’s not just fast music that’s potentially dangerous, either. Loud music has been shown to reduce reaction time. One study suggested the delay is because the brain has difficulty hearing something but not looking at it – in this case, listening to music but looking at the road.
Furthermore, studies show that when listening to their favorite music, drivers are more likely to commit traffic violations such as speeding, failing to signal, failing to check blind spots, and tailgating. This is especially true of younger and more inexperienced drivers. When you have an emotional connection to your music, it ceases to be a background noise and becomes a distraction. Drivers will start to pay more attention to the music than the road.
What – and What Not – to Listen To while Driving
In general, music with a tempo of 60-80 beats per minute (BPM) is the safest to drive to, because it mimics the average human heart rate. Music with a tempo of 120 BPM or more can result in faster driving speeds and more traffic violations. Any music played at over 85 decibels can influence driver behavior for the worse.
We’ve created a Safe Driving Playlist for you to use on your next commute using songs rated between 60-80 BPM. How do these compare to the Billboard Hot 100? Check out our top five most dangerous and safest songs on today’s radio.
Today’s Hits – Top 5 Safest Songs to Drive To
- Old Town Road by Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – 67 BPM
- Suge by DaBaby – 75 BPM
- Beer Never Broke My Heart by Luke Combs – 77 BPM
- Earfquake by Tyler, The Creator – 80 BPM
- 7 Rings by Ariana Grande – 70 BPM
Today’s Hits – Top 5 Most Dangerous Songs to Drive To
- bad guy by Billie Eilish – 135 BPM
- Talk by Khalid – 136 BPM
- Sucker by Jonas Brothers – 138 BPM
- If I Can’t Have You by Shawn Mendes – 124 BPM
- Sweet But Psycho by Ava Max – 133 BPM
Are You the Victim of a Car Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, whether it was caused by music or not, you deserve compensation for your injuries. Contact Parrish DeVaughn today for your free consultation.