Car driver with music
musical notes

Which Artists Help Us Concentrate Behind The Wheel?

Music is one of the most popular ways people make their drive more enjoyable, whether it's soothing classical tracks or upbeat pop bangers.

The joy of driving is often heightened by music, and selecting a model with the latest audio technology and in-car entertainment features can add a luxurious touch to your experience. This option may surprise you with its affordability, particularly when leasing a car. Regardless of how you choose to enjoy your journey, once your setup is complete, let’s explore the perfect music to elevate your driving experience.

Listening to music has been proven, many times, to aid us in certain situations; songs with a BPM (beats per minute) of higher than 120 have been documented to help athletes run faster¹, while music with just 60-70 beats per minute has been shown to help students study longer and retain more information² . So, in our latest study we wanted to explore which music, specifically which artists, are the most beneficial in helping your concentration when driving…

The artists that help you concentrate behind the wheel

Radio in car

One of the most important parts of becoming a driver, and a great indication of how quickly you can identify and react to hazards while driving, is the well-known hazard perception test. We tasked our study participants with completing a series of hazard perception tests while listening to different playlists from 20 different popular artists that have been regularly streamed or played on the radio in 2024.

After taking each hazard perception test (whilst listening to the playlists), the participants' scores were recorded and totalled to discover the average result per musician. The scores below represent the average score achieved by multiple participants listening to a particular artist during their hazard perception tests; higher scores indicate greater levels of concentration, meaning the participants identified and reacted to hazards quicker when listening to that artist.

Global hip hop sensation Drake ranks in first position, followed by pop legend Ariana Grande, and iconic rapper Eminem in joint second place.

The rest of the top 10 is made up of a variety of genres, but pop artists take the lead as the genre helping people concentrate the most, with over 50% of the artists being those in pop or similar pop-based genres. Grammy award winning artists Billie Eilish, Beyoncé and Harry Styles all feature among the top musicians that help drivers remain focused on the road.

Top Ten

Artists that can aid driving concentration

Rank Artists Average Hazard Perception Test Score /75
#1 Drake 59.5
#2 Ariana Grande 58.5
#=2 Eminem 58.5
#4 Billie Eilish 57
#5 BTS 56.5
#=5 The Weeknd 56.5
#7 Beyonce 55.5
#8 Foo Fighters 55
#9 Harry Styles 54.5
#10 The 1975 54

#1 Drake

Drake music on phone

Drake, one of the world’s most famous hip hop and R&B artists, actually gained fame as an actor before turning his hand to music. Drake has made waves in the industry since he launched his music career in 2006, holding the record for the most songs featured on the Billboard Hot 100 chart by any solo artist. Our study showed that the best music to listen to in order to help you stay present and alert whilst driving is Drake’s; participants in our study secured an average score of 59.5 out of 75 when listening to the ‘Hotline Bling’ star.

#2 Ariana Grande

Pop icon Ariana Grande is revealed as the second-best artist to help you spot potential hazards whilst driving. Ariana Grande transitioned from musical theatre star to one of the most-streamed artists globally. Her music, including hits like thank u, next and 7 rings, seems to unlock a level of focus and concentration that led our study participants to score an impressive 58.5 average score on their hazard-perception exams. Her loyal fanbase (currently known as the Arianators) will surely be thrilled to see Ariana topping another kind of chart!

#3 Eminem

Marshall Mathers a.k.a. Eminem was the first rapper to win an Oscar for Best Original Song and remains one of the most well-known artists in hip hop. His breakout album, The Slim Shady LP, helped Eminem achieve global popularity in 1999, and his subsequent number one hit singles such as Lose Yourself and Without Me have been revealed to help drivers’ concentration and alertness levels behind the wheel. The strong yet complex rhyme and rhythm schemes of Eminem’s tracks helped our study participants score, on average, an impressive 58.5 out of 75 on their hazard perception tests, making Marshall Mathers one of the best artists to listen to behind the wheel.

Megan Thee Stallion and Bach led participants to fail their tests

While the majority of our study participants passed their hazard perception tests while listening to different artists, there were two artists that seemed to really impact participants' abilities to spot and react to hazards in a timely manner. Both Bach and Megan Thee Stallion did not prove to be helpful artists to listen to in the car, with participants scoring an average of 42.5 and 37.5, respectively. For context, you must score at least 44 out of 75 in order to pass!

vintage radio in car

What does the Highway Code say about driving while listening to music?

After successfully completing your hazard perception test and on-road examination, prioritize safety as we delve into the Highway Code's guidelines on listening to music while driving.

While it doesn't state that you cannot listen to music while driving, there are two very important rules that drivers must be aware of when it comes to playing your favourite tunes while doing the school run, or driving to work:

1) Keep your volume low, and don't wear headphones.

volume dial
Under Rule 148 of the Highway Code, the law states that focus could be impaired by distractions such as loud music. So, while playing music, or listening to music in your headphones isn't against the law, if either are deemed to be a distraction to you or prevent you from driving safely, you could end up paying a £5,000 fine and being given three to nine penalty points on your licence.

2) Never adjust your music while driving

spotify in the car
Under the same section of the Highway code, changing the music could be deemed a distraction and could land you with a fine. In 2022, new laws came in that aimed to prevent dangerous driving, meaning that picking up your smartphone to change a song could see you immediately given a £200 fine. Set the volume at a safe level before setting off so you don't have to adjust it while driving, and don't skip any songs or change the music until you've come to a complete stop.
Some of the most popular car models for music lovers to lease include the Land Rover Range Rover, which features the Meridian Sound System, or an Audi which comes with a Bang & Olufsen sound system. Discover Auto Trader's full range of cars to lease here.


We ran a small study using 17 participants, all of whom were required to complete mock hazard perception tests while listening to a selection of the most popular songs from different artists. Their scores were then averaged out, and used to rank the artists that are most helpful to listen to in order to spot and react to developing hazards.


  1. https://www.runnersneed.com/expert-advice/training/running-and-music-finding-your-bpm.html#:~:text=Songs%20that%20are%20120BPM%20or,for%20an%20all%2Dout%20effort
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3338246/