What Does Your Driving Playlist Say About Your Driving?

When I was pregnant, I lost count of the number of times people would say to me that I should play classical music to the baby. It is supposed to keep the baby feeling calm and help them to develop. I have no idea if it made a difference; I definitely know how music impacts me and my mood, so it was worth a try. 

One of the main places I listen to music is in the car. I connect my phone to the car music system, or listen to the radio, and I think it definitely helps me when I drive. In fact, there has been some research by Kia on how music can impact your driving experience. Using one of their electric cars for the testing, a Kia EV6, it was found that listening to music such as Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, made the drivers four times more efficient. In contrast, up-tempo pop songs, such as The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights,’ provoked more intense emotion in the drivers in the test. This meant that the drivers were more energetic and spirited in their style of driving, making them more inefficient when driving the electric vehicles.

Drive Style Playlist Campaign

It is definitely interesting to look at these results and the impact that they have on driving, especially when I think about the music that I listen to when driving. I have a particular ‘angry’ song to use when driving (which honestly, is such a tune): Time is Running Out by Muse.

I do tend to like something in the car that the kids and I can sing along too. In my most recent Spotify Unwrapped for the year, my top five songs were all West End showtunes! They were:

  1. Popular from Wicked
  2. Good Morning Baltimore from Hairspray
  3. On My Own from Les Miserables
  4. You Will Be Found from Dear Evan Hansen
  5. You Can’t Stop the Beat from Hairspray

My Playlist, Journeys, and Driving Style

I love a song that allows me to sing along at the top of my voice. With three children, it is honestly quite rare that I get to drive in the car without them with me. A lot of our journeys tend to be smaller in length, such as school runs if the weather is bad and driving them to and from their clubs and classes like piano lessons, football, and ballet. They are all things that we can all sing along too, and you know there isn’t going to be anything in them that isn’t inappropriate for children. 

Luckily the baby sleeps well in the car (yes, I have been known to just go out for a drive to get him to sleep) and he actually goes to sleep better in the car if he can hear some music. If it is too quiet, such as just me and him in the car, with no music on, then it does take him longer to go to sleep. If he hears music and hears my singing, then it does make a difference to how quickly he goes to sleep; winning!

Interestingly, my husband tends to want to listen to podcasts rather than music when he is driving in the car and we are going on a longer journey. The older children are usually not too fussed about listening, but the husband says that it helps when it’s a long motorway journey as he learns things or it gets him thinking about certain topics.

Showtunes and pop songs are definitely my go-to music genres. But perhaps, if I want to be a more efficient driver, I should be switching to the classical!

What do you think of the research? What does the music that you listen to in the car say about you?

*This post is a collaboration with Kia, but all thoughts and experiences are my own.

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