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Scientists Determine Songs to Help You Drive Your Safest

BY RELEVANT CULTURE / ISSUE 63 / MUSIC April 15, 2013

When it comes to driving music, to each their own. It’s been a source of friction on family vacations and buddy road trips for as long as there have been stereos in cars to fight over. But now there’s a new study, led by Dr. Simon Moore from the London Metropolitan University, that can help make those choices a little bit easier—that is, if you want to drive safely.

The study found that different songs have a substantial psychological effect on how we drive. Metal agitated men’s driving more than it did women’s, causing them to break faster and accelerate harder. Hip-hop, however, made women more aggressive than it made men. And here’s a surprising note: No genre made either gender more aggressive on the road than classical music.

But there’s safe music, too, and it comes in the forms you’d expect. The study put together the top 10 safest songs they could find, and you might want to make a playlist with them. Topping that chart is Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me,” followed by songs like Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” and Coldplay’s “The Scientist.”
Overall, researchers found that the safest way to drive is with music that has a beat mimicking the resting rate of your heartbeat. So now you know how to play it safest on the road. But only you can decide if your optimal conditions are worth listening to Jason Mraz over and over.