How Music Impacts Your Driving

That moment when you instinctively crank the radio when your favourite song comes on may make your ride more exciting, but does it influence your driving?

According to a study we commissioned, it may depend on what genre of music you're listening to. In fact, your preferred music style may also shine a light on what type of driver you are and your driving record, including which listeners are most likely to get speeding tickets or be charged with more serious offences like careless driving and DUI's.

Life In The Fast Lane

Sure, everyone does it occasionally; drive faster than they should. As commonplace as speeding is, there are some who appear to be prone to it. Can you guess who? That's right, drivers who listen to Talk Radio! Almost half of the drivers who listen to Talk Radio (49%), followed closely by Metal listeners (48%), have had 1-3 speeding tickets, versus 40% of the driving population.

Interestingly, Talk Radio doesn't make the speed demon list for drivers with four or more speeding tickets. Drivers with this many tickets are more likely to be fans of R&B which takes the lead at 16%, followed by Classic Rock listeners (12%) and Country listeners (11%).

Highway To...Bad Driving

Whether it's Metal, Hip Hop, Country, Classic Rock or Talk Radio, drivers who listen to these genres were found to have a potentially dangerous driving streak.

According to the survey, 2% of Canadians have been charged with careless driving; but break it down by music genre and 6% of Hip Hop listeners and 4% of Metal listeners have. Hip Hop listeners also take a hit when it comes to stunt driving; Hip Hop listeners are the most likely to have been charged with stunt driving at 4%, compared to 1% overall.

When it comes to drinking and driving, the study shows that Country and Classic Rock listeners are more likely to have been charged with a DUI than those who listen to Pop/Top 40 or Alternative Rock.

And, the dreaded at-fault accident? Regardless of music preference, about 20% of Canadians have been at fault in one accident, but tune in to Talk Radio and this increases to 25%. On the flip side, if you have never been in an at-fault accident, chances are you're likely tuning into Alternative Rock, Oldies, Country or Classic Rock.

Slow the folk down

Perhaps all drivers could take a few notes from folk listeners. Almost half of them (49%) have never had a speeding ticket compared to 37% overall. They're also much more likely to have never been pulled over, clocking in at 38% versus 26% of all drivers.

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You're in the driver's seat

No matter what type of music you listen to, we can all do better. The fact is, we ultimately control how we drive and behave behind the wheel. So let the music play, crank it up and remember that safety is paramount because poor behaviour behind the wheel can often result in tickets, fender-benders and accidents. And, these are things that could have you singing the car insurance blues.

View our how music impacts your driving infographic.

Online survey company Vision Critical conducted the sample study between April 30 and May 1, 2013 among 1,007 randomly selected Canadian adults who participate on the Angus Reid Forum panels, the largest online sample survey group in the country. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender, and region Census data in order to reflect Canada's entire adult population.


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