Coffee, Rap Music and Noisy Kids - The Perfect Combo

Wed 21st Apr 2021

Want to improve your reaction times while driving? A new study has found that there are certain conditions which improve your driving skills - and that, generally, women are quicker to spot hazards.

The data comes from a partnership between CX Lab in partnership with Uswitch and focused on driver’s reaction times when performing the DVLA’s Hazard Perception Test. The study showed a sample of 16 different scenarios to 100 drivers, with a range of different genres of music playing, the sound of noisy children, and also tested before and after the driver had had a cup of coffee.

The analysis showed that the caffeine in the coffee had the biggest positive impact on results, when a driver had drank a cup of coffee 20 minutes before the test, they responded much quicker to hazards.

Of the six music types, it was found that rap music produced the best reaction times. Of the other genres, classical, heavy metal, jazz, R&B and techno, it was R&B that affected drivers and led to slower reactions.

The study also found that playing noisy children sounds increased reaction times, however the likelihood of having real disruptive children in a car would likely have a negative impact.

“Behavioural science uncovers lots of interesting unconscious factors that influence human decision-making from driving behaviour to business performance. These often defy immediate explanation and require further investigation to truly understand why,” CX Lab’s Tim Wade told The Daily Mail.

“It may be because rap music was less popular - that focused participants on the hazard perception task by actively suppressing the background music.

“This has been seen in other studies where music aids concentration on a primary task - for example, in revising for exams, and raises exciting questions for further study on the role of music and sound in influencing behaviour.”

The research also found that women were better at spotting danger than men, with reaction times 690 milliseconds quicker than men.