More classic rock made it into the top of the list with Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’, AC/DC’s classic Back In Black and Africa by Toto featuring strongly.
However, more modern songs were also popular among van drivers, who chose Katy Perry’s Roar, Happy by Pharrell Williams and Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson to round out the top 10.
Many of the van drivers’ favourite tunes are classic rock that it would be easy to say are chosen simply because of the age of the drivers. However, psychologist Dr Don Knox said: ‘The van drivers’ choices are predominantly classic, heavy rock, yet the music also tends to be upbeat, high arousal, dynamic and positive. This is likely to affect the emotional state of the driver, through a process called emotional contagion, where we mimic the emotion expressed by the music we listen to. In other words, the positive emotions expressed in the favoured music will have a positive emotional effect on the driver, and so can help reduce the stress associated with driving for a living.
‘While we might assume this type of loud, high arousal music could be distracting, in fact the opposite could be true.
‘While loud music we don’t like can be off-putting, research shows that listening to our favourite music, loud or quiet, can increase our engagement in activities like driving and can enhance enjoyment, performance and accuracy, reduce levels of distraction, and make time pass more quickly.’