What You Drive Could Impact How You Drive

Posted: October 18, 2010

If you have a few too many moving violations on your record, you may want to consider getting a new car.  A new study asks if what you drive affects how you drive.

Quality Planning, a company that provides statistics and information to car insurance companies, analyzed a year’s worth of traffic citations.  The resulting study “examines various vehicle makes and models and quantifies the propensity of each to be ticketed by law enforcement based on the number of moving violations per 100,000 miles driven.”

Kicking Tires writes, “The study shows that Mercedes-Benz SL-Class roadster owners are the worst offenders, getting four times as many moving violations compared to the norm. That doesn’t sound surprising in the least considering the SL is a sleek, sporty two-door.”  But, there are other, more surprising results.  Kicking Tires adds “there are three car made by Toyota – Camry Solara, Scion TC and Scion xB – on the top 10 list of worst offenders, which is interesting since Toyota Motors isn’t thought of as an ‘ultimate-driving-machine’ carmaker.”

Quality Planning “doesn't blame the cars. Rather, apparently the cars in the Top 10 are those preferred by motorists who like to drive fast,” says USA Today. “By contrast, big haulers such as SUVs and minivans were among the least cited. The Buick Rainier, for instance, placed dead last.” In fact, eight of the ten cars with the least number of traffic citations were SUVs or Minivans.

The study also took the gender of the drivers into account, and there the results are surprising: only three of the top ten most-cited cars were overwhelmingly driven by men. The Hummer H2 and H3, Acura Integra and Mercedes-Benz CLS-63 AMG were the only cars in the top-ten group to have a male-driver percentage of over 50 percent.  However, the average ages of drivers of the most-ticketed cars, which range from 30 to 53, are less than the average ages of drivers of the least-ticketed cars, which range from 36 to 65.

If you know you have a lead foot and are trying to break your traffic ticket habit, look for a car that won’t encourage you to take risks.  Slowing down will not only save you money (in the form of lower insurance premiums and traffic fines), but it could also save your life and the lives of drivers around you. There are plenty of cars out there, like the Lexus ES and Buick LaCrosse, that offer comfortable rides and zen-like interiors -- which could help you learn to love the right lane.  If you still feel the need for speed, go for a car that drives well, but isn’t flashy, making it less likely to get cop’s attention.  There aren’t any BMWs on the list of the most-ticketed cars. We’re just sayin’.

Cars with the Highest Percentage of Moving Violations:

Mercedes-Benz SL Class

Toyota Camry Solara

Scion tC

Hummer H2/H3

Scion xB

Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG

Acura Integra

Pontiac Grand Prix

Mercedes-Benz CLK 63 AMG

Volkswagen GTI

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