Survey: Journey's 'Don't Stop Believin' ' Is Best Song for Driving


"There's no accounting for taste," as the aphorism condescendingly reminds us. And so it goes with one's favorite music while behind the wheel. Bear in mind, "best car music" is by its nature a category separate and distinct from garden-variety "best music." In the motorized cocoon of one's ride, one can bump whichever tunes one is so inclined, free of the influence of outside opinion, the indignity of snobbery and the ridicule of one's sing-along stylings. As a result, according to a survey by, the official Best Song for Driving is "Don't Stop Believin' " by Journey.

More Pop Culture News on

The '80s blue-collar-bar anthem topped the list with 30 percent of the vote by 2,000 licensed drivers age 18 or older, split evenly between male and female, according to the insurance-consumer information website. Percentages total more than 100 because respondents were allowed to choose up to five songs. "Don't Stop Believin' " was followed closely by Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" at No. 2 with 27 percent of the vote, AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" at No. 3 (22 percent), Journey again at No. 4 with "Any Way You Want It" (22 percent) and Tom Cochrane's "Life Is a Highway" in fifth place (21 percent).


Rounding out the top 10, followed by their vote percentage, were:

6. "Dancing Queen" by ABBA (19 percent)
7. "American Girl" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (16 percent)
8. "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" by Michael Jackson (15 percent)
9. "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen (14 percent)
10. "Fortunate Son" by Creedance Clearwater Revival (14 percent)

"Some people mock the Bay Area balladeers, but there's no denying Journey has a fan base, given they took two of the top five spots for songs that people enjoy when driving," Managing Editor Michelle Megna said in a statement.

On the flip side of the coin, participants also were polled on which songs made them want to crash their car … well, or maybe just change the radio station. Of those, the top five worst songs for driving were:

1. "Who Let the Dogs Out?" by the Baha Men (29 pecent)
2. "We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift (25 percent)
3. "Believe" by Cher (22 percent)
4. "Feelings" by Morris Albert (20 percent)
5. "Papa Don't Preach" by Madonna (18 percent)

[Editor's note: Further down the worst-songs list are "Caribbean Queen" by Billy Ocean and "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler, and we just have to ask: What is wrong with these people?]

An informal poll of the Editorial Department yielded the following unranked, unofficial additions to the Best Songs for Driving list:

  • "Cars" by Gary Numan, selected by Chad Rubel, production editor
  • "Windfall" by Son Volt, Bill Jackson, assistant managing editor/research & production
  • "Freak on a Leash" by Korn, Lindsay Bjerregaard, multimedia editor
  • "Out in the Street" by Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Burklow, copy editor
  • "Drive Somewhere" by The Vulgar Boatmen, Mike Hanley, research editor
  • "Tight Pants" by Eagles of Death Metal, Evan Sears, photo editor
  • "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC, Kelsey Mays, consumer affairs editor
  • "E-Pro (Edit)" by Beck, Aaron D. Bragman, Detroit bureau chief
  • "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" by The Smiths, Paul Dolan, visual designer
  • "The Veil of Isis" by The Sword, David Thomas, managing editor
  • "One Piece at a Time" by Johnny Cash, Matt Schmitz, news editor
  • "California Dreamin' " by the Mamas and the Papas, Jennifer Geiger, news editor

Have any additions you'd like to make to the best or worst songs to drive to? We encourage you to include them in the comments section below.

By Matt Schmitz | January 23, 2014 | Comments (15)


Lindsay Bjerregaard

For the record, I don't really listen to Korn--I picked that song because you haven't lived until you've seen Kelsey Mays do a live performance of it in the car!

Jonathan Davis

Gee, that's too bad, Lindsay, I was about to send you a lifetime VIP pass and a boxful of Korn merch.


Just about anything from the Tom Johnston era doobie brothers could be mentioned, but the song that stands out is "Rockin down the highway," 3minutes and 22 seconds of musical motoring bliss. For you younguns who listen to Korn and Sword you can find this cut on you tube. "Drive my car" by the beatles might also be considered.


Radar Love is a great song for cruising

Doug B

"Stickshifts and Safetybelts," Cake.
"One Headlight," Wallflowers.
"Dragula," Rob Zombie.

Sometimes I feel like the only under-40 person on

Matt S

I'm with Ken, Radar Love by Golden Earring should be on the list.


1. Radar Love
2. All other driving songs are "#2," if you catch my drift.

Bobbie M

#1; Radar Love
#2-1000; Please see # 1

B Bay Barn

Roadhouse Blues does it for me.

Andrew Sleeth

For me, there's no road-bound memory to surpass cruising down the Blue Ridge Parkway on a crystalline autumn afternoon with the moon roof rolled back and Senia's Lament (Jerry Douglas) turned up.


. Taylor's Rock
. Dust my Broom
. I can't drive 55
. Take me home country roads
. Call Me The Breeze
. Bluegrass Breakdown

Scott B.

Hold on! I'm a Coming - Sam & Dave
Runnin' Down a Dream - Tom Petty
Paradise by the Dashboard Light - Meatloaf
Thunder Road - Bruce Springsteen
Satan is My Motor - Cake
I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide - ZZ Top
Drive - The Cars
I Get Around - The Beach Boys
Steve McQueen - Sheryl Crow
Are You Gonna Go My Way - Lenny Kravitz
...and of course, Born to be Wild - Steppenwolf

Dr Bunsen Honeydew

Communication Breakdown - Led Zeppelin


Count my vote for Golden Earring - Radar Love.

Also add Sniff 'n' The Tears - Driver's Seat.

Texas 71 - magnolia electric company
Carboforce - Trans Am
Heart Of The Sunrise - Yes
Wrong Lens, Wrong Film - Tiger Bear Wolf 
Run The Jewels - EL-P + KILLER MIKE
The Race Is On - George Jones
Apache - Incredible Bongo Band
You Won’t See Me - Beatles
What Have You Done for Me Lately - Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Lucille - Kenny Rogers
Bacon - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

Post a Comment 

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • If you don't want people to see your email address, simply type in the URL of your favorite website or leave the field empty.
  • Do not mention specific car dealers by name. Feel free to mention your city, state and brand.
  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers. This blog is not a fan or enthusiast forum, it is meant to help people during the car-buying process and during the time between purchases, so shoppers can keep a pulse on the market.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
view posting rules

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App