Music to drive to

Drivers seek escapism in 'Bat out of Hell'

11 February 2011

AA members, depressed by ever-increasing forecourt fuel prices, are escaping to a bygone era of happier and cheaper motoring by choosing 'Bat out of Hell' as their top tune for the road.

'Bat out of Hell' was the most popular choice* with both men and women, and among the 35-44, 45-54 and 55-68 age groups.

ABBA's 'Dancing Queen' was the winner for the over 65s, and Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now' topped the charts among the 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 groups.

The top three overall 'Bat out of Hell', 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and 'Dancing Queen', were singularly unpopular among the youngest drivers, while 'Don't Stop Me Now ' was unloved by the over 65s and didn't get a vote.

The 18-24 year olds and 25-34 year olds were least likely to have nominated one of songs in the top 30 while the 45-54 year olds were most likely to have done so.

Queen, ABBA, Dire Straits and Chris Rea (for his driving theme songs) all get two entries in the Top Thirty.

The AA Top 30 Chart

  1. Bat Out of Hell – Meat Loaf
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  3. Dancing Queen – ABBA
  4. Driving Home for Christmas – Chris Rea
  5. Road to Hell – Chris Rea
  6. Hotel California – Eagles
  7. The Flood – Take That
  8. Don't Stop Me Now – Queen
  9. Hey Jude – The Beatles
  10. Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd
  11. Angels – Robbie Williams
  12. Livin' on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
  13. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
  14. Radar Love – Golden Earring
  15. Sultans of Swing – Dire Straits
  16. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel
  17. Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
  18. Highway to Hell – AC/DC
  19. Money for Nothing – Dire Straits
  20. Sex on Fire – Kings of Leon
  21. Born to be Wild – Steppenwolf
  22. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
  23. Imagine – John Lennon
  24. Summer of '69 – Bryan Adams
  25. Thriller – Michael Jackson
  26. Mamma Mia – ABBA
  27. Sweet Child O' Mine – Guns N' Roses
  28. Nessun Dorma – Giacomo Puccini
  29. Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty
  30. More Than a Feeling – Boston


Our members seem to be nostalgic for the good old days - petrol was 17p/litre when 'Bat out of Hell' was released in 1977

Edmund King, AA President

Not too loud or too fast

Whilst music can help reduce boredom on long journeys, the AA warns of dangers of too loud or too fast music.

Drivers listening to music with a fast beat may be twice as likely to go through a red light and have twice as many accidents, while a study in Canada found that loud music can affect reaction times by up to 20%.

If music is above 60 beats per minute, listeners experience a faster heart rate and increased blood pressure. With dance music, that is 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 a long tradition of music and driving. Edmund King, AA president commented: "Music can help reduce boredom and frustration on long congested journeys.

"Our members seem to be nostalgic for the good old days – petrol was 17p litre (78.20p a gallon) when 'Bat out of Hell' was released in 1977.

"'Bohemian Rhapsody' comes second in the chart and, perhaps, the opening lines – Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, No escape from reality – sums up the thoughts of today's motorist faced by increased tax, hold-ups, potholes and sky-high fuel prices."

Loud Music

Loud music can be a nuisance to others, as well as, the cause of accidents so choose your music carefully and don't crank it up.

King, added; "As well as the road safety dangers of loud or fast music, there is also an anti social element. A previous AA/Populus poll of almost 15,000 drivers found that drivers 'who listen to loud music with their windows open' were voted in at number four of drivers' top dislikes."

*An AA/Populus poll of 15,927 AA Members conducted online between 26 Nov and 3 Dec 2010. Respondents were simply asked to name their favourite song to drive to. We've named the top 30 most frequently nominated songs but hundreds more were chosen in the survey showing the range of choice.