Traffic officers at a road stop in Limpopo
Traffic officers at a road stop in Limpopo

Limpopo’s drivers are considered among the top three safest in the country according to new study by Budget Insurance.

The research analysed South Africa’s most played songs and artists and discovered which beats could be producing the bad drivers and also
celebrated the provinces with the safest drivers.

When it came to the music that was most often downloaded and played by drivers in South Africa (according to the latest Spotify statistics) hip hop was the most distracting music genre, with albums by artists Young Thug, Doja Cat, Future, Gunna, 2 Chainz and Metro Boomin scoring within the top 10 highest for distraction score.

Conversely, R&B and Gospel were good genres for driving to, as they tended to be the least distracting.

To help all drivers to be ‘Good South Africans’, car insurance brand Budget Insurance embarked on a nationwide campaign to uncover what made the best drivers. They were interested to find whether it depended on the type of music one was listening to while driving, or whether it was because of the specific area one originated from.

It’s perhaps no surprise that studies found loud music impaired human driving performance and increased an individual’s heart rate, causing more excitement and leading motorists to focus more on the music than on the road.

For an optimal driving performance, researchers at the London Metropolitan University found songs which mimic the average resting heart rate with a tempo of between 60 and 80 beats per minute (BPM) and that are 55 to 65 decibels in volume are the best to choose.

The study put together the top 15 artist albums with an average distraction score under 60% which made them better suited for driving. Within the top five are R&B and uplifting gospel sounds of Summer Walker’s ‘Last Day of Summer’ (44%), Brent Faiyaz’s ‘Wasteland’ (46%), Joyous
Celebration’s ‘Joyous Celebration 25’ (51%) and SZA’s ‘SOS’ (55%).

The most distracting driving songs were three songs which each scored over 70% on the distraction scale. They were Mthandeni SK’s ‘Paris (79%)’, Dave’s ‘Sprinter’ (72%) and Rema’s ‘Calm Down’ (72%) which, ironically, will race your heartbeat due to its high scores for energy (85.86) and danceability (77.15).

The provinces with the best drivers according to Budget’s Car Insurance accident claims data for 2023 were Northern Cape, Freestate, and Limpopo as the top three with the lowest total number of accident claims. When looking at the safest cities to drive in, East London, Rustenburg, Centurion and Pietermaritzburg cities topped those with the lowest accident claims.

The provinces with the highest recorded number of car accident claims and least safe drivers were KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng, with Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town topping the list for cities.

The provinces that saw the biggest percentage increases in number of claims were Mpumalanga (+31%), Western Cape (+22%) and Gauteng (+21%), with Centurion (+54%), Rustenburg (+39%) and Cape Town (+36%).

Seems the Western Cape can fix a road, but struggle to drive on one.