Ever since radios were installed in cars, music has been a companion to most drivers. Whether you tune in to a radio station or listen to your own tunes, music is something that many drivers enjoy when they’re behind the wheel.
For performance car owners, a revving engine and exhaust burble are the main components of their driving soundtrack. Decades ago, Ferraris did not even come with hi-fi units – the wonderful V8 or V12 powerplant emitted all the right notes. The “instruments” that played these melodies were the cylinders, pistons and valves, along with the exhaust pipes.
But to regular folks with regular rides, music has a big influence on a driver’s mood, and perhaps even his driving style. If you enjoy listening to classical music, chances are you’re the relaxed sort who hardly gets frazzled, no matter how annoying the traffic conditions are.
I have an ex-colleague who loves the trance genre. I’m not into trance, but after hearing a few tracks, I decided that the pulsating, repetitive rhythms just weren’t for me. In fact, I was wary about being put into some sort of trance, which would only result in my editor scolding me for being “blur”.
I enjoy rock music, but the songs mustn’t be angry or aggressive, lest I be induced into a bout of road rage. This means heavy metal and death metal are out of the question.
Oldies are my preferred driving music. Pop songs from the 1960s and 1970s have a mellowness that can relax me without putting me to sleep. When I’m driving home late at night, a few Glenn Miller tracks can help me forget about the stresses of my workday.
Indeed, driving and music go hand-in-hand. But before I set off, I try to listen to traffic reports first – they’ll help me avoid jams, thus maximising my enjoyment behind the wheel.