Music and sounds make a huge part of all of our lives; not only are songs and tunes something to bop your head and drum on the steering wheel; but they provide you with an identity and could be considered a way of life in many people's cases. It could be argued that music has been around for as many as 55,000 years in its basic form and has developed incredibly as the years have gone by. These days music is at its most accessible thanks to improved streaming technology and services such as Spotify offering millions of songs at our fingertips for less than £10 a month. This means music is able to be enjoyed easier and in more places, such as cars.
As music plays such a big role in our lives even when we are without it, we thought it would be interesting to conduct a study into how music affects drivers’ choices whilst commuting.
We asked a wide range of questions with the core subject being music. We wanted to know what kind of people listen to what genre, how people consume music while driving (if at all), what kind of medium they consume their media and then relate it all to car and driving as that is All Car Leasing’s core industry. We’ve been known for our studies but this was the first time we delved into the audio world.
What Do You Listen To Most Often During a Commute?
What do they like the most?
"aged 18-24 no one likes silence"
Silent, Loud (25-34-year olds)
The first question we had for our respondents was “what do you listen to most often during a commute and how long is your commute usually?”. This question was asked to determine how many drivers listen to music, or listen to alternatives such as podcasts, audiobooks and the radio. The results we found were that over half of our survey respondents, which equated to 57.6% of them, would opt to listen to the radio over anything else; which applied across genders and all ages. It turns out that those who have a journey of less than 30 minutes would most likely put the radio on as opposed to their own music, we can presume because their commute is only a short amount of time; it may be a bit of a faff messing around with your own music and playlists and the radio comes on automatically. Another interesting, but expected statistic, was that more people were inclined to listen to nothing at all than an audiobook, surprisingly however, under 1% of our respondents listen to audiobooks!
In terms of podcasts, we found that despite being only 9.1% of the overall survey respondents, BMW drivers are the most likely to listen to podcasts in the car, by a mile, and that 27% of all BMW drivers listen to them. Podcast listeners typically have a longer commute than those who listen to the radio or their own music, however this may be expected as even some of the shortest podcast episodes can last around 40 minutes, so it works out perfectly in terms of commute time.
Here’s a lowdown by manufacturer:
Reggae – Volkswagen
Jazz – Vauxhall
Rap – Toyota
Pop – Ford
There are many different genres of music ranging from chilled classic vibes to hardcore death metal that we may or may not be inclined to listen to, but everyone has a favourite. Even saying ‘nothing’ is a preference. One of the questions we wanted to ask our surveyees was “what is your favourite genre of music” to tie in whether genre correlated to any specific group of people or driving styles. We found that those who listen to rap and metal are in fact the least likely to speed, even though those genres would be most associated with being aggressive and are usually expected to be the faster drivers. The real interesting fact was that 23% of the overall respondents have been caught speeding, which is nearly a quarter of all drivers and the most associated genres with speeding were in fact Soul and Country - very chilled out music categories. Could this infer that harder music actually makes you more awake and aware of possible hazards and chilled out music the opposite? The data also perceived that only 10.5% of those who listen to hard rock such as Metal have their volume higher than those who listen to classical music in the car.
One of the key reasons as to why this study was created was due to the fact that nearly all of us in the office have admitted that we would always turn down the volume when performing a manoeuvre, such as a turn in the road or parallel park, or even when approaching a pelican crossing; and wondered how many other people do this as well. It turns out that 72% of the respondents in our survey also agreed to turning down the volume when making a manoeuvre!
Do You Ever Play Loud Music From Your Car At Any Time Where People Live And How Loud Do You Have Your Audio Playing?
Carrying on from the point above, it was also important to gain an understanding of how loud drivers play music in their car on a regular basis, with the choice being between 0-100% volume at increments of 10; and of those people who have their music loud, would willingly play it at anytime where people live. The data revealed that of the surveyees, it was females who are more likely to play music out loud in a place where people dwelled, and are in fact 13% more likely to do it than males are; with a whopping 43% of females agreeing that they happily do this.
Geographically speaking, out of the whole of the UK, the region that has their volume the loudest in areas where people live, is the South West with 46%, and the least is the North of England with only 29%.
Something else we asked in the survey was whether or not they had been caught speeding in the last 6 years to see if there was a correlation between speeding and what you listen to in the car. We were surprised to find out that podcast commuters are more likely than the general population to be caught speeding, with 32% saying that they had been caught within the last 6 years. Could this allude that podcasts are the most dangerous thing to listen to in the car… who knows?
“12% have been caught speeding and received points, 78% of those who have been caught also play music loud in areas where people live – Mostly in South East England
Male - Yes - 30.4% No - 69.6%
Female - Yes - 43% No - 56.6%
Males - 28.3% like it quiet, 53.4% normal , and 15.9% like it loud
Females - 35% like it quiet , 47.7% normal , and 12.8% like it loud