New study claims listening to heavy metal can cause bad driving

Listening to Slipknot at high volume is apparently not good for your driving.

A new study testing the effects of driving while listening to music claims that heavy metal can cause bad driving.

Ran by IAM Roadsmart and motor magazine Auto Express, the experiment set out to analyse driver behaviour and safety while listening to various types of music. The study compared tracks from Slipknot (‘(sic)’), Taylor Swift (‘Shake It Off’), Kendrick Lamar (‘HUMBLE’) and Johann Sebastian Bach (‘Goldberg Variations’).

The heavier and more extreme the music, the more erratic and dangerous the driver became, the results stated. Mellow classical music resulted in the driver being too relaxed, while pop music appeared to be the best for controlled driving.


Consumer reporter Tristan Shale-Hester took to the Red Bull Ring Grand Prix track in Austria, executing two laps of various acceleration, cornering, and speed challenges, ending with a controlled stop at the finish line – all while listening to the aforementioned four songs at full volume.

While listening to Slipknot, Shale-Hester’s time was 14 seconds slower than his control lap and much more erratic than the other tests. Listening to the piece by Bach resulted in him being 12 seconds slower than the control lap; Kendrick’s song resulted in a bad finish past the line; and the Taylor Swift lap was the “smoothest in terms of speed consistency.”

“What is clear is that the ferocious thrash metal really reduced the ability of the driver to get around the track smoothly,” said Tim Shallcross, IAM Roadsmart’s Head of Technical Policy. “That, and high-energy dance music, are designed to be felt as well as heard, and to be listened to at volume. It’s clear neither help when it comes to making exacting driving manoeuvres.”

He added: “Volume is the major factor for concentration and has a big effect. I would certainly advise drivers to dial down the noise when making a manoeuvre – and save the thrash metal for later in the day, or night!”


Meanwhile, Slipknot have revealed the reason behind the title to their new album, ‘We Are Not Your Kind’.

A few weeks ago (May 16), Slipknot announced details of their upcoming sixth record. Revealing the album’s tracklist, artwork and release date (August 9), the news was accompanied by new single and video ‘Unsainted’.