I'm just reading the report from Kanetix on how music choice affects driving habits (www.kanetix.ca/how-music-impacts-your-driving). Not too much surprising there, I have to say: more metal listeners speed, more country listeners drive drunk, more guys who like hip-hop are bigger on stunt and careless driving offences.
I know, you're shocked.
There was one fact that you might not expect almost half of survey respondents who admitted to listening to talk radio above all other genres had received between one and three speeding tickets. Makes sense to me, especially when you remember the survey was taken outside our area. Without the calm, measured responses of a Paddy Daly or Pete Soucy, the madness that is talk radio might indeed push you to unsafe limits.
Perhaps talk radio listeners just want their drives to end more quickly so they don't have to listen to any more ridiculous callers.
Metal, at 48 per cent, is even more understandable. It's hard to watch the speedometer when you're banging your head off the steering wheel. Metal is designed to drive you to excess, in emotion, in volume, even in lifestyle. The gas pedal is just collateral damage, friend.
Funny enough, though, the metalheads, and the talk fans, appear able to learn a lesson. When it comes to collecting four or more tickets, R 'n' B listeners top the list, followed by fans of classic rock, then country. See, even that makes sense. That band only had one good song, and there's only one way to drive. Can't teach some old dogs anything.
Away from the pedal and up to the wheel, the study looked at careless driving offences. Friends, we're all guilty. While the numbers suggest careless driving is not a widespread offence, with just two per cent of drivers facing such charges, four per cent of metal listeners have taken the Highway to Hell, or at least an onramp to heck, while six per cent of hip-hop listeners have pushed that button and four per cent of that club have been charged with the very rare (one per cent over all) stunt driving infraction.
And at-fault accidents? You could say the talk radio fans have been driven to distraction: 25 per cent of them have faced that music. On the flipside, if your mix is heavy on alternative rock, oldies or country, you're never at fault. The world done you wrong, pardner.
Notice what's missing in all this? That's right, the folkies don't drink, don't speed, aren't trying to get their cars up on two wheels. Heck, they barely get pulled over.
Now, Kanetix is an insurance brokerage, but there's no indication this information will affect your rates any time soon. Still, if you're ever asked favourite music on a company form, pick folk. Just to be safe.
Ken Simmons, The Telegram's new media editor, breathes exhaust and exhales clean, fresh air. Twitter @Ken_Simmons_NL/Tumblr