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Fast music makes drivers worse, says study

Fast music makes drivers worse, says study

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Music with high number of beats-per-minute negatively affects motorists

Music with a higher number of beats-per-minute has a negative effect on the way motorists drive, a new study has found.

Researchers at the South China University of Technology conducted an experiment which saw music with a high tempo played while participants used a driving simulator.

The simulator mimicked a six-lane motorway, and at the same time either one genre of music was played – or not music at all.

When no music was playing, the drivers changed lanes an average of 70 times in a 20-minute period. However, when fast rock music was played this increased to 140 times – an average of 5mph above the speed limit.

The most dangerous song to be played proved to be American Idiot by Green Day. With a tempo of 189bpm, it was followed on by Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus and Mr Brightside by The Killers.

In contrast, it was discovered that Stairway to Heaven was the least dangerous rock song to listen to while driving – mainly down to its tempo of just 63bpm. Other ‘safe’ songs included Under the Bridge by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, God’s Plan by Drake and Africa by Toto.

Qiang Zeng, a lead researcher at the South China University of Technology, suggested to Auto Express that his study’s findings could steer “training and management measures, especially for transport operators, and could mitigate the risk of driver distraction”.