Ready to hit play on your favourite driving tune? Well, wait a hot minute!
Science has spoken.
According to the South China University of Technology, music that has a tempo of 120BPM or more is likely to make your driving style aggressive.
The study accounted for the type of music played, how fast drivers became while overtaking and how often. While under strictly monitored conditions, the study placed participants into a six-lane highway simulator.
Let’s take a look at what they discovered:
Increase in Overtaking
Where drivers switched lanes more often (an average of 20 times in 70 minutes), heart rates increased, and rock music played. Not only this, but drivers also accelerated exponentially compared to when they listened to slower tempo music.
Overtaking at high speed, participants failed to notice the environment around them. Dangerous decisions were made, and accidents (in the simulator) were caused.
Beats per Minute (BPM)
One of the performance indicators studied showed that music with a higher BPM increased heart rate.
Rock music generally has a BPM of 110-140.
When you are listening to music with a higher BPM than your heartbeat, your behaviour alters too. Meaning, your brain will try to sync with the tempo you are listening to. Let’s face it, we all like a stomping tune.
So, when your body is physically reacting to music while driving, your brain is in overload. Lower BPM, like folk, gentle rock, and pop, tend to put less stress on your mind. Concentration is increased, and focus is sharpened as a result.
Like so many of us, our music tastes tend to suit our personality. It can be responsible for who we become and challenges us in how we think.
Music is groundbreaking, foundational, and speaks to us.
When listening to the music played, the study saw participants change in mood, temperament and how they reacted to each situation.
Higher BPM encouraged more stress for the drivers, whereas the lower BPM saw a calmer driving experience. It also saw heightened responses to how participants responded. For instance, they showed anger when catching up to other cars.
Food for thought
So, the next time you want to go out for a drive, consider your tunes first.
For the more relaxed journey, it might be worth turning up Led Zeppelin, rather than the beloved Green Day.
You may even notice things that you have never seen before. Just by cracking out a different tune!
Check out the songs that made the list. Some may surprise you!