Carols & Crashes: Study Ranks Deadliest Christmas Carols to Drive


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Drivers take to the roads en masse for the holidays. Whether it’s heading to the airport or making the long drive to see family, it’s travel season and that means drivers need to be extra careful on the road.

Music is always a way to stay awake on long trips, but some songs are different from others. A South China University of Technology 2019 Study have found that songs with faster beats per minute are more likely to cause reckless driving. Songs above 120 bpm are the ones to watch out for.

According to the study, “Automobiles have been the most popular place, among other places, to listen to music” over the past decade. “Listening to music in a vehicle can not only induce entertainment, but also stimulate drivers. This in turn can help alleviate driver boredom and drowsiness.

While listening to music in the car can be helpful in staying awake and alert, the study found that songs with higher tempos could also lead to potentially dangerous conditions while driving, primarily because they could affect the driver’s ability to concentrate.

“Being a competing stimulus for the driver, listening to music in the vehicle could increase the driver’s mental workload and thus adversely affect driving performance,” the study said.

Citing data from a 2001 study by the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of the United States Department of Transportation, the study found that a quarter of traffic accidents were attributed to distraction on the road. steering wheel, with a combination of listening to music or having a conversation with passengers among the grounds for distraction.

In areas with more hills, difficult terrain, or reduced visibility, such as in severe weather or at night, the study found that music could increase a driver’s mental workload and impair their ability to drive. safely.

With study in mind, Chill Insurance in Ireland decided to study popular songs for the holidays, when drivers are more on the road, and rank the 10 best Christmas carols and other holiday songs with the fastest beats per minute, and therefore the most popular songs. dangerous to listen to on the road during the Christmas season.

Familiar favorite Frosty the Snowman was the deadliest according to the study’s metric, with 172 bpm setting up enough distraction potential on the road. Below, find the Christmas carols that could cause the most crashes during the holiday season, classified by Chill Insurance.

  1. Gene Autry, ‘Frosty the Snowman’, 172 BPM
  2. Mariah Carey, “All I Want For Christmas”, 150 BPM
  3. José Feliciano, ‘Feliz Navidad’, 149 BPM
  4. Jackson 5, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, 147 BPM
  5. John Lennon and Yoko Ono, ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’, 146 BPM
  6. Frank Sinatra, “Let It Snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! ‘, 143 BPM
  7. Gene Autry, ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’, 142 BPM
  8. Wizzard, “I wish it was Christmas every day”, 140 BPM
  9. Judy Garland, “Have a Merry Little Christmas”, 137 BPM
  10. Jackson 5, “I saw mom kissing Santa Claus”, 129 BPM

Outside of the holidays, the musical genre with the greatest potential effect on driving was rock, according to the study from the South China University of Technology, due to its “high sound intensity” and faster tempo. raised.

Yet the study also found that the driver’s mood and temperament can also affect the impact of high-beat music on driving safety, so it’s not just the music that can harm or improve safety while traveling.


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