Confused.com has carried out a music and driving social experiment, using its driving style monitoring app MotorMate to create an “ultimate safe driving” music playlist.
The experiment featured eight people driving 500 miles each, under various conditions, to see how different types of music (heavy metal, dance, hip-hop and classical) affected the ability to drive.
Four female and four male drivers were asked to each drive 250 miles with the Confused.com MotorMate app activated, in order to measure their driving skills. They were then asked to drive a further 250 miles with the app activated, whilst each listening to a different playlist, before passing the app data and footage of them driving to a respected London University psychologist for review.
It was discovered that the male and female drivers who listened to the classical playlist drove the most erratically, while the research found that the heavy metal playlist caused the male driver to drive far quicker than anyone else in the group, with the female who listened to the dance playlist having similar driving behaviours.
Dr Simon Moore, psychologist from London’s Metropolitan University, said: “Music that is noisy, upbeat and increases your heart rate is a deadly mix: 55 to 65 decibels is the optimum music volume for driving.”
However, he added that listening to music you don’t like can ‘cause stress and distraction and this also negatively affects driving’.
Sharon Flaherty, head of content and PR at Confused.com, said: “This was a ground breaking driving experiment with the kind of results that no one could have expected and is exactly why tools like the Confused.com MotorMate app can be so valuable for drivers. The app could save people money and it goes a long way to creating safer drivers, safer roads and makes people think twice about their actions when getting behind the wheel. We’re excited about the new functionality of the app too, which will let people share and compare their driving skills with friends and even compete to see who is best.”
“I am hugely proud of this piece of research, especially as it shatters a range of driving myths surrounding listening to music and the effects on our driving styles. There are clear consequences of listening to both music you like and don’t like when driving and we urge people to take the advice of our psychologist, Dr Simon Moore, and listen to songs with a mid-range beat, by far, the safest type of music to drive to.”
The top ten songs on the safe driving playlist are:
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