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Does the Music You Listen to in the Car Affect Your Driving Behavior?

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Man listening to headphones music you listen to affect your driving habits
With spring here and summer on its way, road trip season will be underway shortly. As you prepare your playlist for your cross-country drive, you’ll want to seriously consider what songs you pick–and not just for sing-along potential!

According to a study using UK-based’s MotorMate app, the music you listen to in the car affects your driving habits–even if you don’t realize it.

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Certain Music Causes Stress, Distractions for Drivers

The study, which was conducted at London Metropolitan University, involved four men and four women who were monitored as they drove 500 miles each. The first half of the drive was done without music; the second half involved listening to music. Speed, braking, and acceleration were all tracked.

Researchers concluded that more intense, fast rhythms can increase excitement levels, causing drivers to adjust the car’s speed to match the tempo of the music or drive more aggressively. On the other hand, slower songs could cause a person to relax too much and lose alertness. Thus, the ideal tempo for driving music should reflect the beat of a human heart at rest–between 60-80 beats per minute.

Hip hop was especially dangerous for women who ended up driving more aggressively; heavy metal caused men to accelerate the most, and dance music affected women similarly. Classical music caused both genders to drive the most erratically.

If you’re not sure what songs to include on your road trip mix tape, researchers suggested including the following 10 songs deemed the “safest”:

  1. “Come Away With Me” – Norah Jones
  2. “Billionaire Feat. Bruno Mars” – Travie McCoy
  3. “I’m Yours” – Jason Mraz
  4. “The Scientist” – Coldplay
  5. “Tiny Dancer” – Elton John
  6. “Cry Me a River” – Justin Timberlake
  7. “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” – Aerosmith
  8. “Karma Police” – Radiohead
  9. “Never Had a Dream Come True” – S Club 7
  10. “Skinny Love” – Bon Iver

Which dangerous songs should you avoid at all costs?

  1. “Hey Mama” – The Black Eyed Peas
  2. “Dead on Arrival” – Fall Out Boy
  3. “Paper Planes” – M.I.A
  4. “Walkie Talkie Man” – Steriogram
  5. “Paradise City” – Guns N’ Roses
  6. “How You Remind Me” – Nickelback
  7. “Hit the Road, Jack” – Ray Charles
  8. “Get Rhythm” – Johnny Cash
  9. “Heartless” – Kanye West
  10. “Young, Wild and Free” – Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa

So yeah, as you can surmise, your passengers will probably kill you over your bland, intolerable song selections, but at least you’ll be a safer driver.

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News Source: The Telegraph