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Distracted Driving: Could Your Music Be The Cause?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

When you’re driving, do you listen to music? The idea of a long, quiet drive is boring. So you want to liven up the ride ahead of you with some tunes. But which tunes should you choose?

A United Kingdom-based driving company named PassMeFast released a study in connection with Spotify to identify the top 50 most distracting songs and the 50 least distracting songs to listen to while driving. The calculations combine Spotify’s top 50% of emotionally-charged songs and high-energy songs, while also including the “danceability” of these songs to combine for an average.

Here are the top five most distracting songs to listen to while driving:

“can’t stop” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

The Red Hot Chili Pepper’s song that was released in 2002 was ranked number five in the most distracting songs, with a ranking of 69%.

“Take on me” – A-ha

Just barely ahead of “Can’t Stop,” the A-ha 1980’s hit ranks at number four with 69.4% of all distracting songs. It might be due to the danceability factor that takes us back to the game Just Dance — it totally makes us want to bust a move.

“Empire state of mind” – Jay-z ft. Alicia Keys

Surprisingly enough, Jay-Z’s song, featuring the one and only Alicia Keys, has a percentage of 69.5 on the distracting song scale. It’s the only hip-hop song to make the top five list.

“Mr. Brightside” – The Killers

Taking second place is the iconic 2003 song by The Killers with 69.6%. This one is quite self-explanatory as just in the first 30 seconds, you’ll want to start rocking out.

“hey ya!” – Outkast

With a staggering 72.6%, “Hey Ya!” by Outkast tops the number one spot on the charts. Something about it just brings a smile to people’s faces and just makes us want to jam out!

Some honorable mentions that fell short of the top five list are “Levitating” by Dua Lipa and “Feel So Close” by Calvin Harris (this one is partially due to the iconic Vampire Diaries moment iykyk).

The songs to listen to while driving that are the least distracting are calculated with their low energy, danceability and emotions.

Here are the least distracting songs to listen to while driving:

“Love yourself” – Justin Bieber

The 2015 era song by Justin Bieber is ranked number five of songs that are the least likely to distract you while driving with only 10.4% of energy and danceability.

“When I was your man” – Bruno Mars

The heart-wrenching 2012 song by Bruno Mars ranks at number four with 10.3% as least likely to distract you while driving. I don’t know about you, but the tears this song brings to my eyes are definitely distracting.

“bruises” – Lewis Capaldi

The calm demeanor of Lewis Capaldi’s 2019 song “Bruises” makes sense as it’s ranked number three with 10.2% on the distracted driving scale.

“July” – Noah Cyrus

To some people’s surprise, Noah Cyrus’ 2019 song takes second place in the least distracting songs to listen to while driving, jumping to 9.3%.

“bad guy” – Billie Eilish

The least distracting song to listen to while driving is (insert drumroll here) Billie Eilish’s 2019 award-winning hit “bad guy.” The iconic song takes the number one spot with the lowest percentage of 8.1%.

Some other songs that are least likely to distract you while driving include Olivia Rodrigo’s “enough for you” and “7 rings” by Ariana Grande. One interesting trend to note is that most of the songs on the least likely side of the list are made within the last decade.

Distracted driving accounts for over 3,000 deaths each year. In order to ensure the safest possible drive, here are some tips to help you stay out of harm’s way:

  • Put down that phone — Most of distracted driving accidents are caused by cellphones. Put down the phone, put on Do Not Disturb and pay attention to the road. The notifications can wait.
  • Ensure all parts of the car are functioning — This means to check your lights, tires and engine regularly to reduce the risk of an accident on the road.
  • Always check your mirrors — When merging or turning, use your mirrors to make sure there is no incoming cars, bikes or pedestrians in the way.

Overall, music is a great way to prevent yourself from being bored on a car ride, just make sure you’re jamming out safely.

Hi there! My name is Caitlin and I am currently a Junior at the University of Central Florida majoring in Broadcast Journalism and History. I love Marvel, learning new things, giving advice, and helping others in any way I can!
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