RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

Calm down dear drivers - listen to the music

13th May 2011 Print

Motorists may love traditional driving anthems from Meatloaf, AC-DC and Guns N’ Roses, but the best way to avoid trouble on the roads is to tune in to Adele or Jack Johnson.

A study carried out for Halfords to look at the role the radio plays in car journeys found that playing calming music prevents blood pressure rising and encourages more considerate driving.

Loud heavy beating rock, hip-hop and even some classical works can incite motorists to drive faster. The rising crescendos of Tchaikovsky or Beethoven may have drivers pressing the pedal, whilst Chopin or the slow tempo of Mozart can soothe and slow.

This was backed up by a check on how a drivers’ blood pressure changed when listening to different tunes – calming music prevented blood pressure from rising

Halfords wanted to examine the reasons behind increasing requests from customers to update vehicles with new digital radios.

Nine out of ten drivers admit that playing music in the car has an effect on their mood and behavior while behind the wheel, with 60% saying it makes them happier and more considerate motorists.

Half those questioned found listening to music made the journey go more quickly and 27% said it makes them feel calmer, the study found.

Some 15% admitted their choice of music makes them drive faster and 5% said they became more aggressive, mainly 25-35 year old men. This change in behavior was illustrated by a check on blood pressure of a random group of drivers using a simulator showing a typical motorway journey. Loud music with rapid beats or soaring orchestral tunes saw blood pressure rise and a tendency for the speed to increase.

Sing-along melodies, easy listening artists, 70s, 80s and 90s chart toppers were by far the most popular choice for motorist when switching on the radio. Over three quarters (78%) said they regularly listening to music when driving. A quarter (16%) tuned into the sports channels while 6% preferred news and talk shows.

The survey, carried out for Halfords marks six months of selling and fitting DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast) car radios. It showed 16% of those driving cars with DAB radios said they listened to more music than they did when the radio was analogue.

Halfords In Car Tech Expert Nik Dix said: “We’re focused on helping our customers enjoy life on the move and DAB radio is a great way to improve your in car entertainment.

“There’s also the evidence that the right choice of music can improve road safety and DAB radio gives drivers more music options and better quality sound than ever, before.

“Halfords has invested in a new DAB range which offers customers the newest technology at excellent value. Our in-store experts will also help you choose and fit the perfect DAB stereo.”

Previous academic research by Dr Brian Dalton from the University of Western Ontario in Canada found that all music could lessen stress amongst drivers. Also that loud pounding (of any genre) increased reaction time and reduced concentration.

Keith Clarke, editor of Classical Music Magazine added: “Music of all kinds can arouse passion, excitement and contentment.”