The Right Playlist Could Make Your Teen A Better Driver

You could say that music has a powerful influence in so many moments of our lives. It can recall a beautiful memory, teach children the alphabet, motivate you on a run, or help you concentrate on your studies. Being such a part of our everyday routine, it’s no surprise that a study found that 90% of people listen to music while driving

Benefits of Listening to Music While Driving

Besides being pleasing to the ear, there’s actually plenty of research directly linking music to certain health benefits. Data from the NorthShore University Health System in Illinois found that music can help improve your mood, reduce stress, and decrease symptoms of pain and anxiety. 

It’s no surprise that this means listening to music while driving can help with these conditions as well, especially since studies have shown that listening to music in the car can directly impact driving behavior. 

Now, we know your teen is on their way to getting their driver’s license, and we thought we could help you both get through it with some great music. First, we’ll give you some tips on how to create your own perfect playlist, then share one we made just for you and your teen. Let’s get started! 

While Driving: What Should You Listen To? What Should You Avoid?

Now, not all music is created equal. As it turns out, a study conducted to analyze the effects of certain types of music and how it affected drivers found a direct correlation between music tempo and aggressive driving. While the study was conducted with a simulation and not actually on the road, it found that as music tempo increased, so too did the simulated driving speed. The study also found that ignoring red lights, making frequent lane changes, and even simulated collisions, happened more frequently with fast-paced music. 

So what should you listen to instead? The general consensus is that the ideal tempo for driving music should be in accordance with the human heartbeat, which is around 60 to 80 beats per minute. This can also include music at a higher tempo of around 120-160 beats per minute, since the half-time beat would fall between that 60 to 80 range. 

Some examples of songs that fall within this range include:

Come Away With Me - Norah Jones

When The Party’s Over - Billie Eilish

Chasing Pavements - Adele

Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers

I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing - Aerosmith

What Are The Behind-The-Wheel Training Requirements? 

While your teen is wrapping up our online lesson, the two of you will need to start working on the behind-the-wheel training requirement. Work out a time when you and your teen can devote at least an hour to driving around. Begin with the basics like parking in a mostly vacant parking lot. As the hours add up your teen will be learning more advanced moves like the three-point turnaround. 

Your teen’s first 14 hours of behind-the-wheel training have to be with you, the parent instructor. You’ll be the one driving for 7 of those hours while your teen observes, then you’ll switch places and observe your teen for the other 7 hours. 

During the latter, it might be best to turn the radio down, or even listen to something instrumental instead of music with lyrics. Your teen might be nervous or anxious being observed, and you’ll want to be sure to avoid any kinds of distractions while you’re teaching, even if it happens to be your favorite song. 

Another 30 hours of driving (at least 10 hours at night) can be with any licensed driver over the age of 21 that the parent instructor has certified. In total, your teen will need to do 44 hours of behind-the-wheel training.

Play That Funky Music Y'all

So 44 hours behind-the-wheel, that’s a lot of driving. Needless to say, you’ll be needing quite a bit of music to help you get through it! You can use our advice to guide you in creating your very own playlist with all of your favorite songs. 44 hours is over 2,600 minutes worth of music. That means you might need about 900 songs depending on how long they are. 

If that sounds a little too overwhelming, we can help with that. Using your Spotify account, check out our TX.PTDE Playlist. It includes over 44 hours worth of hits we think you and your teen might love. 

In order to be extra safe while driving, be sure to keep your music at a moderate volume. You want it loud enough to enjoy, but not too loud that the driver isn’t aware of their surroundings. Studies have shown that loud music can lead to a slower reaction time while driving. 

If you and your teen do happen to like our playlist, click the download button so that it’s available for you offline. This ensures your music will continue playing, even if you lose phone signal. Also, be sure to have your teen press play BEFORE they put the car in drive. Be sure to remind them that any time they look down at their phone is a form of distracted driving, even to change the music. We’ve made sure this playlist is long enough to keep their eyes and focus on the road, where it belongs. If your teen happens to hate a song and wants to skip it, don’t worry, it won’t hurt our feelings. Just be sure to remind them that the safest option would be to rely on their passenger to change it for them instead. 

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