Effect of music on driving performance and physiological and psychological indicators: A systematic review and meta-analysis study

Health Promot Perspect. 2023 Dec 16;13(4):267-279. doi: 10.34172/hpp.2023.32. eCollection 2023.


Background: Many studies have assessed the effect of music on driving. However, their results are very scattered and contradictory. Therefore, this systematic review is conducted to determine the effect of music on driving performance and drivers' physiological and psychological indicators.

Methods: Scopus, PubMed, and Web of Science databases were searched until July 2023. A manual search in Google Scholar for gray literature was conducted. The Simulation Research Rubric (SRR) tool was used to assess the reporting quality of the studies. Stata software (StataCorp, version 16) was used to perform a meta-analysis.

Results: A total of 2650 records were identified. The findings of 19 studies were analyzed. Most of them were carried out in high-income countries (HICs) using simulators. The most frequently used music style was classic rock. The meta-analysis results indicated that music with high and medium volume increases the average driving speed, and music with low volume decreases it. Although music in every mood reduces the average reaction time, it positively reduces response delay and increases coherence. Music with high volume decreases the heart rate, but music with medium and low volume increases it. Listening to music increases the level of arousal and mental load.

Conclusion: It was concluded that, in some indicators, listening to music has adverse effects on driving. However, in many indicators, music has a positive impact on improving driving safety. It is better to choose appropriate music for different driving conditions and to train the drivers about it.

Keywords: Digital epidemiology; Driving; Meta-analysis; Music; Physiologic; Psychologic.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

Grants and funding

The study was founded by the Student Research Committee, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, and the Road Traffic Injury Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences.