This Is the Most Dangerous Song to Listen to While Driving
According to data, these tracks are the most potentially distracting to drivers.
Anyone who enjoys hitting the open road knows that the playlist makes the trip. But unfortunately, your tunes may be doing more than just making the miles go by faster. According to the United States Department of Transportation, seven percent of all fatal car accidents in 2019 were caused by distracted driving—meaning any time a driver was distracted from the task at hand. And while you likely know that texting while driving is a huge no-no for that reason, you may not have realized that the music that you choose for your ride could steal your attention, too.
U.K. driving school Pass Me Fast just released a list of the most distracting songs to drive to, using data from the streaming service Spotify. They rated each song by how high energy it is, how danceable it is (more distracting songs have an "irregular beat or tempo," according to Pass Me Fast), and how emotionally charged it is, then combined those elements for a final distraction score. So read on for the 15 most dangerous songs to drive to according to that data—and then adjust your playlist accordingly.
RELATED: The 65 Best Cover Songs of All Time.
"Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi
The 15th song on Pass Me Fast's list is an undisputed hair band classic: Bon Jovi's 1986 rock anthem, "Livin' on a Prayer." But though it brought the then up-and-coming group their second No. 1 Billboard hit, its epic riffs and singable lyrics are apparently not conducive to safe driving.
"Youngblood" by 5 Seconds of Summer
A more recent rock hit, 5 Seconds of Summer's "Youngblood," should also be getting the boot from your car's rotation. The 2018 track from the Australian group has been streamed over a billion times on Spotify, so rest assured they can take the hit.
"Timber" by Pitbull (ft. Ke$ha)
Rapper Pitbull and pop star Ke$ha teamed up for this 2013 single, which you've certainly heard if you turned on Top 40 radio or hit a club any time that year. But beware of yelling "Timber" when you're behind the wheel—Pass Me Fast say it's the 13th most distracting song they studied.
"Yellow" by Coldplay
Compared to our first three songs, Coldplay's breakout hit "Yellow" is on the mellower side. But don't be fooled by its dreamy lyrics—the 2000 track may still be a dangerous listen.
"Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (ft. Ray Dalton)
Coming in at No. 11 is "Can't Hold Us," by duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Not only did the driving beat of this hip-hop/dance track make it one of the most streamed songs of 2013, you've also heard it in the background of dozens of commercials and movie trailers.
"Dusk Till Dawn" by ZAYN ft. Sia
Former One Direction member ZAYN and Australian songstress Sia joined forces on the 2017 song, "Dusk Till Dawn," which is the tenth most distracting on our list. Ironically, the action-packed music video for the track features a car chase.
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"Levitating" by Dua Lipa
We don't recommend levitating while driving, and Pass Me Fast does not recommend listening to "Levitating" by Dua Lipa either. The 2020 disco-pop song was a huge milestone for the artist, but its catchy chorus may steal your attention from the road.
"Bring Me to Life" by Evanescence
Most people of a certain age have scream-sung along to this 2003 song by rock band Evanescence, whether once or a thousand times. But you should save your early '00s emo moment until you're safely parked, Pass Me Fast advises.
"You Give Love a Bad Name" by Bon Jovi
The only artist to have two in the top 15 most dangerously distracting songs is Bon Jovi, who makes the list again with "You Give Love a Bad Name." Also a hard rock number, the song is even from the same album as "Livin' on a Prayer": 1986's Slippery When Wet.
"Feel So Close" by Calvin Harris
DJ Calvin Harris knows how to make an ear worm, and he did it again with his 2011 hit, "Feel So Close." But while the dance single will get everyone out on the floor at a wedding, you should steer clear of it when it comes to plotting your road trip mix.
"Can't Stop" by Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Can't Stop" may not be the most popular song ever released by SoCal rockers the Red Hot Chili Peppers but data shows that it's their most distracting. The 2003 single appears on their album On the Way.
"Take on Me" by a-ha
With "Take on Me," Norwegian group A-ha delivered one catchy pop song, as well as one of the most innovative music videos of all time. Still, attempting to hit that high note while also attempting a right on red may not be in your best interest.
"Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys
Yes, we know, anyone who's lived or even visited New York feels the need to sing along to this one with all the pride they can muster. But Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' ode to the Empire State isn't among the safest listens when you're in the driver's seat.
"Mr. Brightside" by The Killers
Talk about finding success right out of the gate. "Mr. Brightside" is the first single The Killers ever released, and its impact on pop culture can't be overstated. The 2003 power pop song about a jealous boyfriend is a singalong classic—and the second most dangerous song you can put on in the car.
"Hey Ya!" by Outkast
To perhaps no one's surprise, it's not advisable to "shake it like a Polaroid picture" while you're behind the wheel. For that and a handful of other reasons, Outkast's 2003 blockbuster single "Hey Ya!" sits on the top of this list. What's cooler than being cool? Getting to your destination safely!