Music can affect safe driving practices

January 16, 2013 12:00 AM

It should come as a surprise to no one that listening to certain songs can affect moods and actions. After all, who can listen to pump-up songs like "Eye of the Tiger" without getting the urge to dominate some physical training or hear certain chords of classic rock without headbanging along with the beat? According to a recent study from a U.K. car and financial site, the music you listen to while driving may impact how safe you are on the roads.

The Telegraph reports that fast-paced songs increase a driver's heart rate and can cause them to focus more on the music than the road. Heavy metal songs caused male drivers to drive faster, while hip-hop music increased aggression in female drivers.

"Music that is noisy, upbeat and increases your heart rate is a deadly mix," a London University psychologist told AutoBlog. "Fast beats can cause excitement and arousal that can lead people to concentrate more on the music than on the road."

The safest songs to drive to were mellow in nature, including Norah Jones' "Come Away With Me" and Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours." Performers like Coldplay, Elton John and Radiohead were also popular choices. So if you want to cut down on the necessary scheduled maintenance or auto repair your car needs, consider changing the radio to these calmer songs.

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