It might have been a few years for some of you, but just about everybody has memories of driving down the road, bouncing around as a good song played on the radio.
But like everything else that’s fun, a study has determined this can be dangerous.
The South China University of Technology studied 10 songs and found that Green Day’s “American Idiot” is the most dangerous song to listen to while driving and “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin is the safest.
I know what “American Idiot” is but I couldn’t tell you how it goes. “Stairway to Heaven,” on the other hand, can be memorized and sung by most people as it’s very slow and draggy.
There’s also 44 years of time between the songs, so you can’t say the study stayed in one range of time. Why is “American Idiot” so dangerous? Well, the study says “The tempo.
At 189 beats per minute, it was the fastest song of the bunch while other tracks, considered slow, were only 80 beats per minute.”
Here are the top five most dangerous songs:
Green Day — “American Idiot”
Miley Cyrus — “Party In The USA”
The Killers — “Mr Brightside”
The Chainsmokers — “Don’t Let Me Down”
Bruce Springsteen — “Born To Run”
And these are the five least dangerous:
Led Zeppelin — “Stairway To Heaven”
Red Hot Chili Peppers — “Under The Bridge”
Drake — “God’s Plan”
Toto — “Africa”
Khalid — “Location”
I’ve heard of six of the 10 songs. I’m not really sure what a Khalid is (Singer? Group?), but I’m old so it probably doesn’t mean anything. I doubt there’s anything dangerous about a Miley Cyrus song and while “Born to Run” is many things, including being a stone cold classic, I’ve never thought of it as dangerous, unless you like chasing lost dreams.
The study also said it involved drivers negotiating their way along a simulated six-lane motorway either in silence or while listening to a range of music.
The average number of times the participants switched lanes in 20 minutes was 70 times.
That number doubled when the drivers were listening to rock music. Researchers also found that their speed increased by an average of 5 miles per hour above the limit with rock on the stereo.
Unless I’m alone or trying to drive the wife crazy, the music doesn’t get too loud when I’m driving.
People tend to want to talk while we’re riding and I’ve been told my musical taste is eclectic at best, schizophrenic at worst. But I chalk that up to people not knowing what’s good.
I could see myself bouncing around to “Born to Run” and while I’ve listened to Stairway to Heaven” many times in my life, it is a song you can get tired of and I can see it putting me to sleep now as I drive down the road.
There are songs I can picture being much more dangerous than “American Idiot.” “Fight Fire with Fire” by Metallica comes to mind. I think it has about 10,000 beats a minute and leaves you thinking the only logical conclusion is to wreck when it ends.
There are some Marilyn Manson songs that will put your head through the windshield. And let’s not forget the head banging rhapsody of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
As for safe because they’re boring, well, “Three Times A Lady” by the Commodores is sometimes used in place of anesthesia during major surgery.
And the entire catalog of eighties “icon” Richard Marx has been used to put violent crowds to sleep.
This is the quote that closed out the study: “The findings are useful for the development of effective driver education strategies — in particular, a publicity program that could enhance public awareness of the negative impact of music listening on driving performance,” lead researcher Qiang Zeng said of the study.
Sure, you could use it as a way to convince people to drive more safely, but there are still people that don’t see the point in wearing a seatbelt. Also, do a study that will tell me why people are still willing to pay $95 to see Garth Brooks. I don’t get it!