According to The Telegraph, a study to determine if listening to music affects driving was recently sponsored by Confused.com, a British insurance web site. The study included four men and four women who drove 500 miles each. The first 250 miles was driven in silence and the second while listening to music. Items such as speed, acceleration and braking were carefully tracked. Footage of the participants driving was reviewed and interpreted by London University psychologist Dr. Simon Moore. His conclusion: different types of music affect your driving style. Specifically, rock and hip hop are especially dangerous for drivers.
"Music that is noisy, upbeat and increases your heart rate is a deadly mix," noted Dr. Moore. "Fast beats can cause excitement and arousal that can lead people to concentrate more on the music than on the road." According to the study, the most dangerous driving song was "Hey Mama" by the Black Eyed Peas. Other "dangerous" songs included "Paradise City" by Guns N' Roses; "Hit the Road, Jack" by Ray Charles; "Get Rhythm" by Johnny Cash; and "Heartless" by Kanye West. (You can see the whole list here.)
One other finding is particularly pertinent. "[L]istening to music you don't like can cause stress and distraction and this also negatively affects driving," said Dr. Moore
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