How Music May Affect Your Risk of a Car Accident

August 7th, 2019

Looking away from the road to mess with the radio dial or to try to find the perfect song on your playlist is a form of distracted driving and one of the leading causes of car accidents, but did you know one study has suggested that just listening to music without looking at the audio source is distracting enough to affect your driving performance? There have been several studies conducted attempting to measure the effect of music on drivers, and the results may surprise you.

The Pros of Listening to Music while Driving

Listening to music you like is a major mood-booster! When you are stuck in traffic, a good tune can reduce stress and aggression, and at the same time, reduce traffic errors and road rage. 

Listening to music is also shown to elevate your heartrate and keep you awake and entertained on long trips, decreasing the risk of accidents caused by drowsy driving. Some studies have even shown listening to music can actually improve a driver’s ability to perform some driving tasks, such as matching the speed of the vehicle ahead and staying within lane markers.

The Cons of Listening to Music while Driving

If you can’t find music you enjoy anywhere up or down the radio dial, it can actually increase your stress levels, which has a negative effect on driving behavior. But music you love can also cause bad driving behavior, especially for younger and less experienced drivers. You may start to pay more attention to the song than the road, and begin making simple errors that can result in devastating consequences, such as forgetting to signal or check blind spots.

Fast music and loud music are also shown to have a negative impact on driving behavior. Drivers may subconsciously speed up to match the tempo of a song, while loud music is shown to reduce reaction time. Any music played at over 85 decibels can influence driver behavior for the worse.

What This Means for Your Playlist 

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.

Researchers have suggested jazz, soft rock, and easy listening are the best options to listen to while driving, but if those aren’t your speed, we’ve created a Safe Driving Playlist for your next commute. Interested in how the songs on the Billboard Hot 100 scan? We’ve also charted out the top five safest and most dangerous on the radio now.

Today’s Hits – Top 5 Safest Songs to Drive To

  1. Old Town Road by Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – 67 BPM
  2. Suge by DaBaby – 75 BPM
  3. Beer Never Broke My Heart by Luke Combs – 77 BPM
  4. Earfquake by Tyler, The Creator – 80 BPM
  5. 7 Rings by Ariana Grande – 70 BPM

Today’s Hits – Top 5 Most Dangerous Songs to Drive To

  1. bad guy by Billie Eilish – 135 BPM
  2. Talk by Khalid – 136 BPM
  3. Sucker by Jonas Brothers – 138 BPM
  4. If I Can’t Have You by Shawn Mendes – 124 BPM
  5. Sweet But Psycho by Ava Max – 133 BPM

Have You Recently Been in a Car Accident?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident where you were not at fault, we want to help. Regardless of what music was playing, you deserve compensation. Contact Dudley DeBosier today for your free consultation.