The most distracting and least distracting songs to drive to

The most distracting and least distracting songs to drive to

The most and least distracting songs for driving

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%


2. The Killers – Mr. Brightside

Distraction Score: 69.6%


3. JAY-Z – Empire State Of Mind

Distraction Score: 69.5%


4. a-ha – Take on Me

Distraction Score: 69.4%


5. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Can’t Stop

Distraction Score: 69.0%


6. Calvin Harris – Feel So Close – Radio Edit

Distraction Score: 68.5%


7. Bon Jovi – You Give Love A Bad Name

Distraction Score: 68.1%


8. Evanescence – Bring Me To Life

Distraction Score: 67.3%


9. Dua Lipa – Levitating

Distraction Score: 67.2%


10. ZAYN – Dusk Till Dawn – Radio Edit

Distraction Score: 66.2%

1. Billie Eilish – bad guy

Distraction Score: 8.1%


2. Noah Cyrus – July

Distraction Score: 9.3%


3. Lewis Capaldi – Bruises

Distraction Score: 10.2%


4. Bruno Mars – When I Was Your Man

Distraction Score: 10.3%


5. Justin Bieber – Love Yourself

Distraction Score: 10.4%


6. Calum Scott – Dancing On My Own

Distraction Score: 11.5%


7. Ariana Grande – 7 rings

Distraction Score: 11.6%


8. Olivia Rodrigo – enough for you

Distraction Score: 12.2%


9. Electric Light Orchestra – Mr. Blue Sky

Distraction Score: 12.3%


10. John Legend – All of Me

Distraction Score: 13.4%


Got some distracting or soothing songs you want on Spotify? Click here to learn how to upload to Spotify for free.

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