According To Science: Metal Music Affects Your Driving Ability

May 31, 2019

There's just something about certain rock and metal songs that make you want to put the pedal to the metal on the highway. And according to a study conducted by Auto Express magazine and the road safety charity IAM Roadsmart, different music genres affect our moods and driving abilities behind the wheel.

In the experiment, Auto Express and IAM Roadsmart used a top-notch racing simulator at Base Performance Simulators where consumer reporter Tristan Shale-Hester would complete two laps around the Grand Prix track Red Bull Ring in Austria while listening to heavy metal, hip-hop, pop, classical, and no music.

The course included moments of fast accelleration, difficult corners, and speed limit zones.

After Tristan set the time of his base lap with no music at four minutes and 34 seconds, he completed the course again while listening to "(sic)" by Slipknot. The results showed that Tristan completed both laps fourteen seconds slower and his throttle patterns were more jagged. He admitted that he felt it was harder to concentrate while listening to heavy metal.

His results while listening to Bach's Goldberg Variations were not that much different, clocking in 12 seconds slower than his control time. He also dropped his speed to 35mph in a 50mph zone.

However, he was only two seconds slower than his control time while listening to "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift, and his speed was consistently smooth through the entire drive.

Lastly, Tristian's time while listening to "Humble" by Kendrick Lamar resulted in him being only one second slower than his control time, he did overshoot the finish line by 60-70 feet.

While mobile devices remain the #1 contributor to distracted driving, the volume of the music being played is another major factor that can affect a driver's ability to concentrate.