The most dangerous driving songs of 2017

This chart shows which of Spotify's top 40 most streamed tracks of the year are more likely to make you press the accelerator. The higher the tempo and energy, the more dangerous the song.

StormzyEd Sheeran

How have we worked this out?

Spotify data allows us to analyse songs for tempo and energy - two factors in any track that are likely to make you put your foot down while driving. Tempo is the speed of a piece of music and is measured in beats per minute (bpm). Energy is the measure of intensity - how busy, loud and noisy the song feels - and is measured on a scale from 0 to 1, with 1 being the most intense. We've analysed Spotify's top 40 most streamed songs of 2017 and assigned a score to each based on both factors.

What the experts say

Chartered psychologist Dr Simon Moore says, "Fast music can cause excitement and arousal that can lead people to concentrate more on the music than the road. In addition, a fast tempo can cause people to subconsciously speed up to match the beat of the song".

According to Dr Moore, the optimum tempo of a song for safe driving should mimic the human heartbeat. The safest songs for the road are within 60-100 bpm and not too extreme in energy in either direction (not too much and not too little).

Which Driving Rock Anthems Are the Most Dangerous?

This chart shows which of Spotify's ‘Driving rock anthems’ playlist are more likely to make you put pedal to the metal. Some songs may contain explicit content so listener discretion is advised.

Judas Priest

'Driving rock anthems', the most popular driving rock playlist on Spotify with 76,771 followers

Which Genres Are the Most Dangerous Behind the Wheel?

While traditional driving rock anthems may not be the safest, a study of different genres shows they're not the worst offenders either. This chart shows how different genres fare for tempo and energy.


The conclusion

An analysis of different genres shows those least fit for the roads are metal, punk and dance. For a more relaxing drive, you should maybe consider getting some folk, soul, reggae or RnB in your life. But don't fear. You don't need to change your music preferences just yet. With the exception of metal and dance, every playlist in our study had some songs within the safe zone. So, if you want to prevent yourself unconsciously speeding up while in the driver's seat, it could be a simple case of careful curation.

Whatever music you listen to on the roads, drive safely!

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