What is the Ultimate Driving Song?

Motorists to 'motor network' rather than 'social network'

18 November 2008

the AA Zone Is the 'Road to Hell' or 'Bat out of Hell' the most popular driving song? The AA is seeking to find the ultimate driving song and is asking motorists to select their tune on the new AA Zone.

Motorists are also being encouraged to 'motor network' rather than 'social network' on the new AA Zone. The AA wants drivers to air their gripes, share their tips, talk to other drivers and raise issues for the AA to take to Government.

One hot topic is the proposed 'retrospective' nature of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) changes for cars registered between 2001-2006. Government figures show that the new taxes could affect millions despite the fact that a 'retrospective' tax doesn't send out a green signal but hits many motorists who cannot afford to change their vehicles. The AA hopes that the Chancellor will abolish this retrospective tax in the pre-budget statement on Monday.

Other topics are much lighter. A current thread on the AA Zone is trying to pin down the all-time top tune to drive to.

The top ten contenders

  • Road to Hell – Chris Rea
  • Bat out of Hell – Meatloaf
  • Road to Nowhere – Talking Heads
  • 2468 Motorway – Tom Robinson Band
  • Blue Monday – New Order
  • Mercy – Duffy
  • When we were young – The Killers
  • Hotel California – Eagles
  • Creep – Radiohead
  • Autobahn – Kraftwerk

Not too loud or too fast

Whilst music can help reduce boredom on long journeys the AA warns against much too loud or much too fast music. Research1 has shown that up-tempo music may cause drivers to have double the amount of accidents as those listening to slower music. The study gave 28 students different types of music, ranging from slow ballads to dance music, and monitored them as they used a driving simulator. Drivers who were listening to music with a fast beat were found to be twice as likely to go through a red light and have twice as many accidents.

AA comment

Edmund King , AA president commented : "We are told that if music is above 60 beats per minute, listeners experience a faster heart rate and increased blood pressure. With dance music, that is fairly common. Classical music is not as fast, but the number of notes, combined with the repetitive crescendo and diminuendo can have the same effect.

"There is no fundamental difference between the boy racer listening to Hip Hop and the man racer pumping out opera. The businessman blasting the Ride of the Valkyries is as bad as the head-banger blasting out Motorhead. It is all down to the speed of the beat of the music."

Music that might make you speed up includes Motorhead's 'Ace of Spades', So Solid Crew's '21 seconds' and even Verdi's 'Dies Irae (requiem)' or Kylie's 'In your eyes'.

Music that might help your driving includes Robbie Williams 'Angels', Bach 'Cello Suite No 1' or the Beatles 'Hey Jude' or 'Here comes the sun' or even The Smiths 'Girlfriend in a coma', unless it makes you too miserable.

King, added; "The AA Zone gives motorists the opportunity to raise any issue. We need more people to join the Zone as the early contenders for top tunes seem to reflect misery and hell on the roads and most of the songs are dated.

"There are 32 million motorists out there and we want them to share their experiences on the AA Zone. They can talk about the joys and frustrations of motoring and can tell us what issues they want us to raise with government.

"We want to give people a chance to add their weight to campaigns, confident that the AA will represent majority opinion back to government.

"And we want to give people a platform where they can get in touch with, and form groups with, others who are interested in motoring or who need motoring-related services.

"The AA Zone will help people to motor network".

Join the discussion in the AA zone


1The research by academics at Ben-Gurion University, Israel, supports similar work undertaken by Kurt Valerian, Consultant Psychologist on motoring issues.


18 November 2008