driver and passenger singing in car

Is Your Choice Of Music Affecting Your Driving?

Is Your Choice Of Music Affecting Your Driving?

We all know how certain music can affect our mood. Everyone has those songs that get them excited and energized, as well as those songs that get us relaxed and emotional.

What about what we choose to listen to while we drive? How does that affect us?

The Positives

Research has found that when you listen to music you enjoy, it releases a hormone in the body (oxytocin) that is similar to what you feel when you hug a loved one.

Depending on the genre, listening to music while driving is also found to promote:

  • Positive mood
  • Safer driving behaviors
  • Lower breathing rate
  • Decrease in road rage
  • Decreased driving anxiety
  • Increased focus

The Negatives

While the list above shows the many ways that listening to your favorite music can help you be a better driver, it may also lead to distractions.

Specifically for teenagers, listening to music can lead to a lack of focus on the road and other cars, and generally more unsafe driving behaviors.

One explanation for this is that teenagers are less experienced drivers. Another explanation is that, on average, teenagers listen to music at a louder volume than adults. Interestingly enough, loud music is connected to a slower reaction time.

Effects of Tempo

Tempo refers to the speed of the music. Research has been conducted to see how the speed of a song may impact driving behaviors.

For fast tempo songs, it was found that:

  • Fast tempo songs reduce driver fatigue;
  • Decrease focus;
  • Increase speeding; and,
  • Increase chances of collision.


In comparison, slow tempo songs:

  • Increase the driver’s attention and focus on the road;
  • Increase fatigue after a long period of time listening; and,
  • Decrease¬†anxiety.

Based on these factors, it may seem that slower tempo songs are a safer option while driving. However, for long drives, it may be best to switch it up and have some slow and fast tempo songs on the playlist!

Safe Driving Songs

The general consensus is that the safest driving songs will be between 60 and 80 beats per minute (BPM).

Try these on your next trip:

  • ‘I’m Yours’ by Jason Mraz
  • ‘I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing’ by Aerosmith
  • ‘The Scientist’ by Coldplay
  • ‘Eastside’ by Benny Blanco
  • ‘Tiny Dancer’ by Elton John
  • ‘Lover’ by Taylor Swift

Tennessee Car Accident Attorneys

Even when taking every safety precaution possible, accidents still happen. If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident this summer, give our Western Tennessee personal injury attorneys a call at (901) 295-0100 to discuss your case.