New Study Ranks Most + Least Dangerous Songs for Driving
A new study suggests rock can be both the safest and most dangerous music to listen to while driving, depending on the song’s dynamics. Of the 10 songs tested by South China University of Technology, Green Day’s “American Idiot” was the most hazardous, while Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” was the most safe.
This study used a total of 20 drivers and 60 driving simulation tests. “The association between in-vehicle music listening, physiological and psychological response, and driving performance” was studied, measuring “perceived mental workload, standard deviation of speed, and frequency of lane crossing.”
Personal characteristics of the drivers were labeled, with all 20 participants falling under the categories of choleric (irritable), sanguine (optimistic), phlegmatic (calm) and melancholic (sad).
In most cases, rock music caused the drivers to change lanes more frequently, while heart rate also increased. In all cases, rock music led to the subjects increasing their driving speed.
Why is “American Idiot” the most dangerous song tested? The tempo. At 189 beats per minute, it was the fastest song of the bunch, while other tracks considered to be “light” we as slow as 80 beats per minute.
The second and third most dangerous songs tested were Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” and the Killers’ “Mr. Brightside,” respectively. Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under the Bridge” and Drake’s “God’s Plan” were the second and third safest songs, according to the study. [via NME]
“The arousal level perceived mental workload, standard deviation of speed, and frequency of lane crossing were higher when driving under the influence of rock music than that when driving under the influence of light music or an absence of music,” the study reads. “Additionally, phlegmatic drivers generally had lower arousal levels and choleric drivers had a greater mental workload and were more likely distracted by music listening.”
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