Drive to the beats of Coldplay for a safe journey

Sara Spary

For commuters who drive to work in the morning, there’s nothing like passing the time spent stuck in traffic jam by listening to a few favourite tunes. But have you ever wondered how safe your choice of driving with music is?

Whether you’re a fan of 50 Cent or prefer to cruise to the beat of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21, your choice of playlist could say more about your driving style than you think.

driving blogs 300x225 Drive to the beats of Coldplay for a safe journeyAn experiment led by London Metropolitan University which aims to discover how different types of music effect driving style, has found that the optimum tempo for driving music should mimic the human heartbeat – at around 60 to 80 beats per minute.

According to the research, songs with a faster tempo, such as Paradise City by Guns N’ Roses, make drivers speed up to match the beat of the song. Whereas songs with a smoother beat, such as Come Away with Me by Norah Jones, have a more calming effect and encourage a safer driving style.

Dr Simon Moore, who led the research, said: “Music that is noisy, upbeat and increases your heart rate, it’s a deadly mix [and] fast beats can cause excitement that can lead people to concentrate more on the music than on the road. The optimum tempo of a song for safe driving should mimic the human heartbeat.”

In addition, an experiment commissioned by, found that drivers who listened to classical music had the safest driving style overall because the music helped them to focus.

Interestingly, whilst these drivers scored most highly on factors such as acceleration, braking and cornering speed, they were also found to have the most erratic driving style.

However, it is those drivers who listen to hip-hop who have been found to have the most aggressive driving style, with faster acceleration and increased last minute braking.

Based on the findings of the experiment, the team compiled a list of the ultimate top 10 safe songs to drive to:

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

And if you want to avoid driving erratically, then you’d do best to avoid these top 10 heart-racing numbers:

1.       Hey Mama – The Black Eyed Peas

2.       Dead on Arrival – Fall Out Boy

3.       Paper Planes – M.I.A

4.       Walkie Talkie Man – Stereogram

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 (feat. Bruno Mars)

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