Jay Z speaks onstage during the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on October 30, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. Meghan Trainor attends the 2022 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 20, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Bruno Mars speaks onstage at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

With the holiday season approaching and people planning to hit the roads to celebrate Thanksgiving with their loved ones, a well-curated music playlist can enhance the journey. However, it’s important to choose tunes that won’t compromise your safety; some songs that may be really catchy may also be potentially hazardous. The team at Compare the Market Australia are experts in understanding how distracted driving could impact your car insurance policy. And they wanted to do their own research into the matter. The company took into account four factors to determine what songs are the world’s most distracting: BPM (beats per minute), energy score, danceability, and loudness. The higher each of these songs possesses, the more dangerous it is to drive to.

General Manager of General Insurance at Compare the Market Australia, Adrian Taylor, stated: “Selecting the right music while driving is more than just a matter of personal taste; it can be an issue of road safety. Being distracted by your favorite song could lead to you driving unsafely, which – as well as increasing the risk of an accident – could also increase your insurance premiums if you end up with tickets or a bad driving history. No matter what songs you listen to, it is important to focus on driving, both for your safety and the safety of others.”

The company analyzed the most popular driving playlist, consisting of over 500 songs on a popular streaming site. Each factor was given a score from 0 to 1, and these were then averaged together and written as a percentage to get the overall distraction score. Compare the Market Australia used an API song analysis tool to sort the music. The songs ranged from current hits to ’80s classics by Michael Jackson.

Take a look below at the ten most distracting songs to listen to while driving:

  • 10. Beat It - Michael Jackson

    Really, any of Michael Jackson’s hits could be considered very distracting to drive along to safely. Maybe it’s the Eddie Van Halen guitar solo that puts this one ahead of the others. But “Beat It” kicks off the list at the no.10 spot, with a distraction score of 76.13%.

  • 9. The Lazy Song - Bruno Mars

    From arguably Bruno Mars’ best album, 2010’s Doo-Wops & Hooligans, “The Lazy Song” has a distraction score of 76.26%. Though the song is lyrically an anthem to laziness, the song has a reggae influence, making its danceability extremely high.

  • 8. Hey Baby (Radio Mix) - DJ Ötzi

    Taking it way back, this 2000 cover of the original 1961 tune was a surprise to see on this list. Austrian artist DJ Ötzi’s cover version was re-released when it became the unofficial theme song for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. The track has a distraction score of 76.36%.

  • 7. Despacito (Remix) - Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber

    This 2017 song took over the airwaves when it came out. It has two remixes: one featuring Daddy Yankee, and another with Justin Bieber. The reggaeton and Latin pop song has been widely credited for the renewed popularity of Spanish-language pop music in the mainstream market. “Despacito” has a distraction score of 76.39%.

  • 6. Price Tag - Jessie J feat. B.o.B

    This 2011 Jessie J hit has a distraction score of 76.46%. “Price Tag” is an upbeat, feel-good track, inflected with reggae bounce and a vintage vibe. The sing-along chorus features powerful vocals from the English singer-songwriter along with the use of slinky guitars.

  • 5. All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor

    Meghan Trainor’s 2014 debut single has a high BPM of 134 and high danceability (81). It has a distraction score of 76.59%. With its catchy chorus, it’s perhaps no surprise that drivers could lose focus when this is being played through the speakers.

  • 4. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' - Michael Jackson

    Coming in at no. 4 is MJ’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.” The combination of high energy (92) and danceability (85) of Michael Jackson’s song results in a substantial distraction score of 77.11%. Its strong rhythm could make it more likely that drivers might want to move to the music.

  • 3. Pump It - Black Eyed Peas

    “Pump It” by the Black Eyed Peas claims third place. The BPM of 154 is a fast tempo, and a danceability rating of 65 indicates that the song has a strong rhythm, possibly leading to physical movement and contributing to the overall distraction score of 77.80%.

  • 2. Empire State Of Mind - JAY-Z feat. Alicia Keys

    Taking the second spot is Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind.” With a BPM of 174, this song has an exceptionally high tempo, which may be distracting for some drivers, increasing the risk of accidents. The high energy level (96) may also contribute to distraction, but the relatively lower danceability rating (49) indicates that it might not prompt physical movement, giving it a distraction score of 78.37%.

  • 1. Dragostea Din Tei - O-Zone

    “Dragostea Din Tei” by O-Zone takes the top spot as the most distracting driving song. This is primarily due to its high BPM (130) and danceability (81), which can make drivers more likely to tap their feet or move along with the music. Also, the exceptionally high energy rating of 97 could even make drivers anxious, which might not be ideal for a calm and focused driving experience. The combination of high BPM, energy and danceability contributes to its high distraction score of 78.76%.

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