File this one under pseudo-science. (Or should that be Pseudo Echo?) UK Car Insurance website confused.com has published a psychologist-endorsed Spotify playlist of the 50 ultimate safe driving songs. Featuring mid-tempo tracks from unobtrusive acts like Norah Jones, Coldplay and Radiohead (wait, what?), the playlists curators claim that their song choices encourage safe driving practices by sticking to tracks that “mimic the human heartbeat.”
If that sounds just a little bit new-age, Confused’s website does justify its musical choices with some experimental data - eight drivers’ road habits were recorded under the influence of various tunes - with predictable results. And the website also lists songs to avoid, alongside corroborative statements from a London University psychologist.
According to Confused’s shrink, “Music that is noisy, upbeat and increases your heart rate is a deadly mix. Fast beats can cause excitement and arousal that can lead people to concentrate more on music than the road, … subconsciously speed up to match the beat of the song, [and] cause stress and distraction.”
Top of their list of songs to avoid? The Black Eyed Peas “Hey Mama.”
Hey, works for us.
If you’re wondering what tracks you should be listening to, Coldplay weeper “The Scientist” ranked especially highly with Confused (somewhat hilariously given it’s crash-themed video), as did Bon Iver dirge Skinny Love. Mmm, fun time sing alongs.
No word as yet on the merits of Gary Numan’s automotive safety masterpiece “Cars” or our favourite song-not-actually-about-driving-with-a-name-that-suggests-otherwise. Naturally, we’ll keep you posted.
Image source: YouTube video of Coldplay's The Scientist.