Less #Metal is Better for the Pedal

Dangerous High speed driving at night

Admit it: There are songs that make you drive faster than you should.

A college boyfriend got a ticket for going almost twice the speed limit when listening to Econoline Crush’s “Surefire.” The Violent Femmes’ “Add It Up” is dangerous for me on an open highway.

According to new research from a psychologist, funded by insurance company More Than, fast-paced music with a tempo of 130 beats per minute or more, prompted drivers to push the gas pedal a little harder and go a little faster. Music that was too slow similarly led to poor performance and underestimating time, but faster tracks impaired reaction times and the ability to make decisions.

Psychologist Simon Moore found that Bob Marley, Britney Spears, AC/DC and DJ Calvin Harris were among the most dangerous artists to listen to while driving, especially for younger, less experienced drivers, according to the new research. Music with a tempo of 50-80 beats per minute, which closely mimics the human heartbeat, is considered the safest.

“Interviews with the motorists revealed that a third who had crashed while being distracted by music were listening to rock, followed by 33 percent listening to pop and 19 percent playing dance music,” the Daily Mail reports, based on Moore’s research. When asked for particular songs and artists, the aforementioned Spears’ “Toxic,” Marley’s “Is This Love,” AC/DC’s “Back in Black” and Harris’ “We Found Love” were named, along with Linkin Park’s “Numb.”

“Dr. Moore found that reggae listeners were more prone to near-misses and hazardous decisions, while the fans of heavy metal, hard rock, garage and some hip hop generally drove faster,” The Daily Mail notes. “Other factors highlighted as negative influences on driving were the presence of lyrics and the volume,” with the research suggesting instrumentals are safer for driving because lyrics can be distracting, and that the volume should be kept at or below 107 decibels.

Read more here and, if you’re feeling brave, let us know which songs are troublesome for you in the comments.

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