What are the best driving songs?

Insurance.com's driver survey puts classic rock on top, but it's also a little bit country. Below is a list of the best road-trip songs, with the percentage of survey respondents who picked that tune in parentheses.

1. "Highway to Hell," AC/DC (11%). The largest percentage of drivers surveyed say AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" is the best driving song. This staple of the classic rock era was released in 1979, and has clearly stood the test of time.


2. "On the Road Again," Willie Nelson (10%). Rolling into the No. 2 spot is another classic: Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again"a song that was actually released slightly after AC/DC's top spot winner, in 1980.

3. "Life is a Highway," Tom Cochrane (8%). First released in 1991 and given new life thanks to a cover recorded by Rascal Flatts for Disney's Cars soundtrack, the hit landed the third spot.

4. "Born to Be Wild," Steppenwolf (7%). The oldest song on out list, "Born to Be Wild" was released in 1968 and was cemented in history the next year on the soundtrack of the Peter Fonda classic Easy Rider.

5. "Free Fallin'," Tom Petty (7%).  Petty released "Free Fallin'" in 1989, and it became his biggest hit, spending more time and charting higher on the Billboard charts than any other Petty song. Our survey respondents put it in the No. 5 spot.

6. “Party In The U.S.A.,” Miley Cyrus (5%)

7. “Hit the Road Jack,” Ray Charles (5%)

8. "Shut Up and Drive,” Rihanna (4%)

9. “Born to Run,” Bruce Springsteen (4%)

10. “Fast Car,” Tracy Chapman (4%)

11. “All Too Well,” Taylor Swift (3%)

12. “Royals,” Lorde (3%)

13. “Watermelon Sugar,“ Harry Styles (3%)

14. “Interstate Love Song,” Stone Temple Pilots (3%)

15. “We Are Young,“ fun., Janelle Monáe   (2%)

16. “Break My Heart,“ Dua Lipa (2%)

17. “Ophelia,” The Lumineers (1%)

18. “Sucker,” Jonas Brothers (1%)

19. “The Middle,” Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey (1%)

20. "I Can't Drive 55," Sammy Hagar (>1%)

Of the 2,300 survey participants this year, 15% opted for the "other" option to choose their own favorite.

“I Can’t Drive 55” was the only write-in song that made the top 20 list. However, there were votes for some on-the-road mainstays, including “Freebird,” by Lynyrd Skynyrd and “Hotel California” by the Eagle. “Amazing Grace” also received several votes.

In fact, write-in votes included everything from gospel music and contemporary Christian music, to Beethoven and Mozart, to Eminem and Juice Wrld.

And, of course, favorites vary by age. Here's a look at the top picks by age group:

  • 18-24: “Party In The U.S.A.,” Miley Cyrus
  • 25-34: “Party In The U.S.A.,” Miley Cyrus
  • 35-44: Tie: "Highway to Hell," AC/DC; "Life is a Highway," Tom Cochrane; "Free Fallin'," Tom Petty
  • 45-54: "Highway to Hell," AC/DC
  • 55-64: "Highway to Hell," AC/DC
  • 65+: "On the Road Again," Willie Nelson

AC/DC rode the highway to the No. 1 position thanks to its popularity with three age groups, while Willie Nelson got a big boost from the 65+ age group. Miley Cyrus' popularity with the under-35 respondents wasn't enough to overtake Tom Cochrane; "Life is a Highway" only tied for first in one age group, but the song's popularity across all ages landed it in third overall.

Greatest driving songs by state

Respondents’ preferences, not surprisingly, differed a bit from state to state. “Highway to Hell,” the top song nationally, was also the top song in Texas. But, of the five most populous states, that was the only state where the AC/DC classic reigned.

Best driving songs in California

  1. "On the Road Again"
  2. "Party In The U.S.A."
  3. (tie) "Shut Up and Drive," "Life is a Highway," "On the Road Again," "All Too Well"

Best driving songs in Texas

  1. "Highway to Hell"
  2. "On the Road Again"
  3.  "Free Fallin'”

Best driving songs in Florida

  1. "On the Road Again"
  2. "Life is a Highway"
  3. (tie) "Born to Run,"  "Fast Car"

Best driving songs in New York

  1. "Born to be Wild"
  2. "Life is a Highway"
  3. "Party In The U.S.A."

Best driving songs in Pennsylvania

  1. "Free Fallin'"
  2. "On the Road Again"
  3. "Life is a Highway"

What's the best musical genre for driving?

Respondents to the survey overwhelmingly chose rock/alternative rock music as the best genre to listed to behind the wheel. Country music came in second, with pop rounding out the top three.

1. Rock/Alternative Rock (23%)

2. Country (19%)

3. Pop (14%)

4. Hip-hop (10%)

5. Soul/R&B (8%)

6. Classical (8%)

7. Jazz (4%)

8. Rap (4%)

9. Metal (3%)

10. Electronic (2%)

11. Latin (2%)

12. Blues (1%)

13. Opera (1%)

Write-in respondents reminded us that gospel music is also a popular pick on the road.

When it comes to favorite genres, there's a big gap by age. Here's the breakdown of the top three genres by age group:

  • 18-24: Hip-hop, pop, rap
  • 25-34: Hip-hop, rock/alternative rock, pop
  • 35-44: Rock/alternative rock, hip-hop, pop
  • 45-54: Rock/alternative rock, country, pop
  • 55-64: Rock/alternative rock, country, pop
  • 65+: Country, rock/alternative rock, pop

Pop is the only genre to appear across all age groups, but no one group put it on top. And the youngest age group is the only group that didn't rate rock in the top three, which might signal that this list will look very different in the future.