William Congreve, the 17th-century English playwright and poet, was spot on: music hath charms to soothe the savage breast. Indeed.
Now, I’ve never encountered any savage breasts but I do know a little Reggae followed by some Folk puts me at ease when I drive. Conversely, when Radar Love, Highway to Hell or Born to be Wild rockets through my car stereo, my heart quickens, my blood races, and I absolutely have to put the pedal to the metal. Or change the station.
Turns out I’m not alone.
Kanetix.ca, an online comparison site for insurance, mortgages and credit cards, commissioned a survey of 1,000 Canadian drivers who were asked how music impacts their driving habits.
The findings, for the most part, were in tune with stereotypical beliefs about the effects of each genre of music. However, there was the occasional surprisingly off-key note.
Music and motorists
Forty-nine per cent of Folkies have never had a speeding ticket, compared to 37 per cent overall. They are also less likely to get pulled over – 38 per cent have been, compared to 26 per cent overall.
Alternative rockers were most likely to have never been at fault in a vehicle crash (55 per cent versus 47 per cent overall).
Talk Radio aficionados (49 per cent) and Metal heads (48 per cent) have had one-to-three speeding tickets, compared to 40 per cent of all drivers.
Drivers with four or more speeding tickets are more likely to listen to R&B (16 per cent), Classic Rock (12 per cent) or Country (11 per cent). The overall survey average is 9 per cent.
While 53 per cent of all Canadians surveyed have been in an at-fault accident, that number rises to 60 per cent for fans of Hip Hop and R&B.
House and Dance music fans – 16 per cent compared to 10 per cent overall – were reported most likely to not have a driver’s license.
Those listening to Hip Hop are also more likely to be charged – 4 per cent compared to 1 per cent overall – with stunt driving.
Hip Hop (6 per cent) and Metal (4 per cent) listeners top the list for careless driving charges. The overall survey average is 2 per cent.
Drivers who listen to Reggae are three times more likely than average to plead for forgiveness to escape a ticket. Their number one excuse: 11 per cent of them needed to use the bathroom.
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