COUNTY NEWS: The music track designed to help safe driving

A Sussex based company has commissioned the first ever music track created specifically to encourage safe driving, including influencing smoother braking, accelerating and awareness of speed limits.

Safe in Sound

It has been commissioned by MORE TH>N SM>RT WHEELS to coincide with the current Road Safety Week and encourage safer driving among higher risk 17– 25 year old motorists - the age group research shows are most likely to have their driving influenced by listening to music.

We have included a one minute excerpt for our readers.

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It follows new research revealing that one in 10 (11%) young drivers has had a crash or near miss as a direct result of the music they were listening to while driving. Additionally, 90% of young drivers admit to having sung and danced along to music while also attempting to control a moving vehicle.

Safe in Sound

Safe In Sound was composed by professional musicians in collaboration with Dr Simon Moore, a Chartered Psychologist and university academic.

Dr Moore has spent years researching which genres, styles and volumes of music can be dangerous to listen to behind the wheel; able to negatively effect people’s driving behaviours, hamper their reactions and decision-making abilities and increase their likelihood of having an accident.

After conducting research, including interpreting brain imaging and cognitive safety analysis, Dr. Moore concluded that the safest music for motorists has a not-too-fast, not-too-slow ‘Goldilocks tempo’ of 50–80 beats per minute (mirroring the average human heartbeat), includes energetic movement and steady pulsation (such as baroque-style music), shuns lyrics altogether, has no repeating melodies and is of a low intensity and volume.

MORE TH>N SM>RT WHEELS say that, taking this into consideration, fans of Bob Marley, Metallica, Jay Z and even Jamie Cullum might want to reconsider their musical persuasions behind the wheel, with the research by Dr Moore showing that reggae, heavy metal, hip hop and jazz all encourage bad driving and are about as far from the blueprint for a safe song as it is possible to get.

All of these music styles were given a wide berth in the production of Safe In Sound.

Indeed, sticking closely to Dr Moore’s guidelines a team of musicians emerged from the recording studio with an original track specifically designed to encourage alertness, smooth braking, accelerating and speed awareness.

Although not fitting any particular music genre, Safe In Sound includes elements of contemporary electronic music with classical and ambient sounds.

The three-minute track can be downloaded for free from the MORE TH>N website or streamed from Spotify and Soundcloud (

In addition to Dr Moore’s in-depth research, MORE TH>N SM>RT WHEELS conducted a survey with 1,000 motorists aged 17 – 25 to gauge the risks associated with listening to music and driving. Among the findings were:

20% of young drivers have had a crash or near miss while listening to music behind the wheel;

Of those, over half (56%) claim that the music they were listening to influenced their driving, distracted them from the road and subsequently played a significant part in their crash or near miss;

Over a third (34%) of those drivers said that rock music played a part in their crash or near miss, closely followed by pop (33%) and dance (19%);

Among tracks cited as playing a part in a crash or near miss were AC/DC’s Back in Black and Britney Spear’s Toxic;

65% believe that the type of music you listen to when driving can affect alertness, braking, accelerating and speed;

90% of young drivers admit to singing, dancing or both to music when driving; and

Pop is the most popular genre of music to listen to when behind the wheel, with almost two thirds (64%) enjoying chart hits when travelling in their car. This is followed by rock (47%) and RnB (45%).

Kenny Leitch, Global Telematics Director at MORE TH>N, commented: “Road traffic accidents remain the biggest threat to the safety and wellbeing of teenagers and young, inexperienced drivers. We launched SM>RT WHEELS telematics to not only encourage safe driving behaviours but also to actively reward young drivers who demonstrate them through reduced premiums.”

“The track we’ve released today, Safe In Sound, very much mirrors the thinking behind SM>RT WHEELS - created out of robust scientific insights to aid alertness on the roads, smoother braking and accelerating and a greater awareness of speed limits. If 92% of young drivers are going to be listening to music every time they drive, we want to encourage them to choose the kind of music that won’t distract them or encourage erratic driving styles, but, instead to make choices that will help them to be safer on the road.”

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