The most distracting and least distracting songs to drive to
New research from PassMeFast, using Spotify data, reveals the songs to add and remove from your driving playlist.
UK-based driving school PassMeFast list the top 50 most and least dangerous songs for driving. The list may help you decide what to and not to listen to when driving. Click to jump straight to the most distracting and least distracting songs.
Outkast‘s 2003 hit Hey Ya! has been deemed the most distracting song to drive to, with other artists such as The Killers, JAY-Z, a-ha and Red Hot Chili Peppers also making the top five. For some safer songs, bad guy by Billie Eilish takes the top spot for the least distracting song, while artists like Noah Cyrus, Lewis Capaldi, Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber should also be good additions to your playlist.
So how did they work out which songs were and weren’t suitable for driving? PassMeFast analysed the 20 most popular driving playlists, combining 4,185 songs, scoring each track against three categories: energy score, danceability score and valence score (how emotionally charged they are). The most distracting songs are those with high energy, emotionally charged and low danceability (due to their irregular beat or tempo). Here’s how PassMeFast got the score:
- We worked out the energy score by taking the top 50% of high energy songs as scored by Spotify and plotted their scores between 0 and 1.
- We calculated the danceability score using Spotify’s danceability score minus 1. This meant that high danceability songs were given a score close to 0.
- Finally, we gave each song a valence score using the distance between 0.5 and Spotify’s own valence score. More emotionally charged songs (whether positive or negative) are given a score close to 1.
This data was then averaged together for an overall distraction score. Using Spotify API’s popularity score, PassMeFast only looked at songs with a popularity of 80+, so only the most popular songs are included. Find the full top 50 lists here. PassMeFast have also compiled the least distracting songs, with a score of 50% or less, into a Spotify playlist for your listening and driving pleasure. Head to PassMeFast for more tips on safe driving in winter months and intensive driving courses.
1. Outkast – Hey Ya!
Distraction Score: 72.6%