According to research conducted by the South China University of Technology, the type of music a motorist listens to influences the way they drive. Here’s what the study uncovered.
Study participants experienced a higher heart rate when they were exposed to raucous music versus when they were exposed to gentler music or no music at all. As a result, they drove faster and less carefully. The key factor was shown to be song tempo, which was measured in beats per minute.
When participants listened to music with a tempo of above 120 beats per minute, they tended to drive faster than they did when listening to music with a slower tempo. The difference in driving speed amounted to about 10 miles per hour. Lane changes also occurred twice as often when drivers listened to this kind of music.
The song that caused participants to drive the fastest and most erratically was “American Idiot” by Green Day, which has a tempo of 189 beats per minute. The song that was most conducive to safe driving was “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin, which has a tempo of 63 beats per minute.
To thwart the impulse to speed, the best songs to listen to in the car are ones with a tempo that’s about the same as your resting heart rate, or between 60 and 80 beats per minute. There’s no shortage of tunes that fit the bill, from “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz to “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith.
If you tend to speed, there are certain types of music you should avoid when you’re on the road including heavy metal, drum, and bass, techno and dubstep. The tempo of most songs in these music genres is more than 120 beats per minute.
The next time you create a driving playlist, be sure to choose tunes that help you maintain your speed and keep you calm and collected on the road.
Cloth vs. leather car seats
If you’re shopping for a new car, you’ll have to decide whether you want cloth seats or leather ones. Here’s how these two materials stack up.
Cloth seats are a popular option for those buying on a budget. And this choice presents some additional advantages besides the cost savings. Notably, cloth seats tend to last longer than leather ones. Plus, leather seats can heat up on hot summer days, whereas cloth seats will remain a fairly consistent temperature.
One of the main drawbacks of cloth is that it’s more difficult to clean and can stain easily. That said, it won’t show scratches the way leather does.
Leather can give a car a sleek, luxurious look and increase its resale value. Moreover, many drivers prefer the cool, supple feel of leather seats. Though some people perceive them as cold, leather seats can be heated in winter and thereby offer additional comfort.
The main disadvantage of leather seats is that they carry a higher price tag than cloth ones.
Overall, cloth and leather seats each have their pros and cons. Your choice should be based on your lifestyle and what you’re looking for in terms of price, comfort, and aesthetics.
Star cars: 7 famous on-screen automobiles
Many cars have made a name for themselves in film and television, including Lightning McQueen, the Batmobile, the General Lee, and the Mystery Machine. Here are seven kinds of cars that became famous on the big screen.
1. The 1963 Volkswagen Beetle
Since making his first appearance in the 1968 feature film The Love Bug, the sentient race car Herbie went on to star in several sequels and remakes, garnering adoration from fans of all ages.
2. The 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance
3. The DeLorean DMC-12
This pop culture icon is known for reaching speeds of 88 miles an hour during its stint as the retrofitted time travel machine in the Back to the Future movie trilogy.
4. The 1976 Ford Gran Torino
Nicknamed the Striped Tomato because of its bright red paint job, this car featured in the 1970s action-crime drama Starsky & Hutch and made its big-screen debut in 2004.
5. The Aston Martin DB5
This weaponized luxury vehicle is one of the most iconic cars in cinematic history, first driven by Sean Connery as James Bond in the 1964 film Goldfinger.
6. The 1993 Toyota Supra
One of many vehicles featured in the Fast & Furious franchise, this flashy orange race car was driven by Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) in the final showdown of the original 2001 film.
7. The 1968 Ford Mustang GT
Bullitt star Steve McQueen gunned this green muscle car through the streets of San Francisco and sent it, tires screeching, into one of the most iconic car chase scenes in film history.
Of course, there are many other famous Hollywood cars including the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder featured in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT from the original Mad Max movie. All these vehicles have inspired car culture and continue to influence collectors of all ages.
5 types of anti-theft devices for your car
Vehicle security has evolved over the years. Unfortunately, so have strategies for stealing cars. It’s therefore important to keep your car’s anti-theft protection up to date. Here are some top security devices available.
Immobilizers prevent cars from getting hot-wired by enabling them to start only when the vehicle’s authorized key is within range. Immobilizers come standard with many but not all new cars. If your vehicle doesn’t have an immobilizer, it’s worth getting one installed. They’re effective and affordable.
2. Steering wheel lock
3. Car alarm
Car alarms are meant to send thieves running. However, because they frequently go off accidentally, bystanders tend to pay them little attention. That said, they do represent an extra layer of security and can deter would-be thieves in some cases.
4. Anti-theft marking
Anti-theft marking involves etching a unique serial number into the various components of your car. This makes it harder to sell your car’s components on the black market and easier to catch thieves who attempt to do so.
5. GPS tracker
While it won’t prevent your car from getting stolen, a GPS tracker can allow you to locate it. However, some tech-savvy thieves have discovered ways to outsmart car trackers, especially older devices, so make sure to get a newer, high-quality product.
Some other anti-theft devices are tire clamps, brake locks, and key fob bags (which prevent signal hacking). To reduce the likelihood of your car getting stolen, your best bet is to use a combination of top anti-theft devices.
What to consider before buying a used EV
Now that electric vehicles (EVs) have been mass-produced for more than a decade, there’s an increasing opportunity for the used electric car market to flourish. Here are two factors to consider before buying a pre-owned EV.
The rapid improvement of EV technology means that first-generation models released between 2010 and 2015 have a shorter range than newer electric cars. Plus, an EV’s range tends to diminish over time. This is less of a concern, however, if you only plan to use the car for short trips. Additionally, a used EV will likely be more reliable than a gas-powered car since it has fewer mechanical parts that can break down. Just make sure your used EV has relatively low mileage, which shouldn’t be a problem if its range is low.
Keep in mind that used EVs offer the same environmental benefits as new ones and also help develop a more sustainable economy.
Quiz: How well do you know cars?
Calling all car enthusiasts: put your pedal to the metal and test your automotive expertise with this fun and quick car quiz.
Match the model to the make
Identify the brand by its symbol
11. Three diamonds
12. Four rings
13. A bowtie
14. A ringed three-point star
15. A prancing horse
True or false?
16. Windshield wipers were invented by American rancher Mary Anderson.
17. “The power to surprise” is the slogan for Hyundai.
18. William Lyons is a founder of the Jaguar brand.
19. The General Lee, from the series The Dukes of Hazzard, is a 1969 Dodge Charger.
20. Production of the famous Ford Model T started in 1912.
1-B, 2-E, 3-H, 4-J, 5-F, 6-G, 7-A, 8-I, 9-D, 10-C
17: False (Kia)
20: False (1908)
A reminder about move-over laws
Did you know that drivers in almost every state are required by law to slow down and, if possible, move over as they approach a vehicle stopped on the side of the road? Here’s what you should know about move-over laws.
A matter of safety
Across the country, move-over laws are in place to help protect roadside workers and the people they assist. This includes first responders and tow truck operators. Depending on the state, the law might also apply to road maintenance, public utility, wildlife protection, and government vehicles.
Additionally, most move-over laws require that you vacate the lane closest to the stationary vehicle if you can complete the maneuver safely. If you can’t change lanes without risking a collision, proceed with caution and be prepared to stop. If the stationary vehicle is in your lane, give the right of way to oncoming traffic and wait until it’s safe to move into the adjacent lane.
Keep in mind that these laws apply to highways, city streets, and country roads. Motorists who fail to abide by the law may face fines and other penalties.