What are the Most Dangerous Driving Tunes?

Have you ever been driving to a favourite tune only to find yourself well beyond the speed limit? Music can do that to you. Back in the 1950s, Esso cautioned against listening to rock’n’roll lest you end up breaking the law. There was even a lawmaker in Massachusetts back in the 40s who demanded that radios be outlawed from cars because of the distractions caused by music.

Today the concept of distracted driving is a more serious problem than ever and while texting and driving gets most of the attention, we still need to be mindful of what music can do to our right foot.

According to a new British survey, 1 in 10 young drivers have had a crash or a near-miss that could be at least partially blamed on the music they were listening to at the time. And a lot of the blame has to go to Bob Marley.

Wait–what? Yep. And this song was found to be the worst of the bunch.

This survey–commissioned by an insurance company, of course–also found that listening to material by Britney Spears, Calvin Harris, AC/DC and Linkin Park correlated with more traffic accidents and other violations with drivers aged 17 to 25.

“Okay,” I hear you thinking, “I get why high BPM stuff would maybe make you drive a little more enthusiastically. But Bob Marley? That’s crazy!”

Not really, bubbe. Slow, relaxing music–especially that with an easy groove–can make you underestimate time and hence worsen your performance as a driver.

If you want to listen to music whilst driving, stick to instrumentals so you won’t be distracted by the lyrics. And while a decent tempo is permitted, just make sure that it’s below 130 BPM which seems to be the danger threshold.

Read more at The Daily Mail.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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