In 2006, American country band Rascal Flatts covered this song for the 2006 Disney/Pixar animated film, Cars, which was released on June 9, 2006. The song sold a large quantity of digital downloads, leading to a top ten peak on the Billboard Hot 100. In addition, the cover was placed as a bonus track on later versions of the album Me and My Gang, covered at a Chuck-E-Cheese show by Jasper T. Jowls, and also was included on their Greatest Hits Volume 1. This version also won the "Favorite Song from a Movie" award at the 33rd People's Choice Awards. Neil Donell covered the song on Disney's Karaoke Series: Cars and Songs and Story: Cars.
The instrumental of the Rascal Flatts' cover version was prominently featured in the Top Gear American special aired February 11, 2007. The song is included on the soundtrack for Lego Rock Band. In other Cars media, the song can be heard during races in the video game Cars: Mater-National Championship, and is one of the songs selected by DJ for a Cars Land show called DJ's Dance 'n' Drive.
(Whoo, hmmm, yeah!)
Life's like a road that you travel on,
When there's one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand,
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind
There's a world outside every darkened door,
Where blues won't haunt you anymore
Where the brave are free and lovers soar,
Come ride with me to the distant shore
We won't hesitate to break down the garden gate
There's not much time left today, yeah!
Life is a highway, I wanna ride it all night long
If you're going my way, well, I wanna drive it all night long
Through all these cities and all these towns,
It's in my blood and it's all around
I love you now like I loved you then,
This is the road and these are the hands
From Mozambique to those Memphis nights,
The khyber pass to Vancouver's lights
Knock me down and back up again,
You're in my blood, I'm not a lonely man
There's no load I can't hold, a road so rough, this I know
I'll be there when the light comes in, just tell them we're survivors
Life is a highway, well, I wanna ride it all night long (Whoo!)
If you're going my way, I wanna drive it all night long (All night long)
(Ah, Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, yeah!)
Life is a highway, well, I wanna ride it all night long (Hmmmmm, yeah!)
If you're going my way (You're goin' my way), I wanna drive it all night long (All night long)
There was a distance between you and I (Between you and I)
A misunderstanding once, but now we look it in the eye (Oooooooooh! Ohhhh! YEAH!)
There ain't no load that I can't hold, a road so rough, this I know
I'll be there when the light comes in, tell me we're survivors
Life is a highway, well, I wanna ride it all night long. (All night long, yeah!)
If you're goin' my way, well, I wanna drive it all night long
(Ah, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, yeah!)
Life is a highway (Life is a highway), I wanna ride it all night long. (Whooooo, yeah!)
If you're going my way (You're going my way), I wanna drive it all night long
(All night long, yeah!)
(C'mon! Ah, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, yeah!)
Life is a highway, I wanna ride it all night long (Yeah, I wanna drive it all night long, baby)
If you're goin' my way (You're going my way), I wanna drive it all night long (All night long)
The music video portrays the three band members pulling into a drive-in theater driving three vintage vehicles. The cars allude to three characters from the movie: Lightning McQueen, Doc Hudson, and Mater. As the projector rolls, scenes from the Disney/Pixar movie Cars are shown as the band plays through the number. It was directed by Shaun Silva.
The Rascal Flatts version subsequently became a hit on the US Hot 100 chart, where it peaked at number 7. Even though it was not officially released to country radio, many country stations played the song as an album cut, overlapping with their then-current country single "My Wish". The unsolicited country airplay brought "Life Is a Highway" to number 18 on the country chart.
- During the song, in the movie, the birds from For the Birds appear for a split second: they're the only characters in Cars to not be car-ified (unless if you include the baby bumblebee shown in the Cars teaser trailer, which is also not car-ified).