Study: Hybrid Owners Drive More, Get More Tickets

Prius Hybrid vehicle owners tend to drive more than their non-hybrid counterparts and rack up more tickets as well, an analysis of insurance records has found.

The research firm Quality Planning analyzes data for insurance companies and looked at data on 359,309 covered vehicles over a two-year period. It found that even though hybrid owners save on gas and greenhouse gas emissions, they drove 25% more on non-work related trips. Even though their commuting habits were roughly the same as non-hybrid drivers, they took more discretionary trips, potentially offsetting their environmentally friendly purchase.

Hybrid drivers also appear to get more traffic tickets, averaging .38 moving violations per 100,000 miles driven compared to the average of .23 for all drivers. These findings are significant because insurance companies often offer discounts to hybrid drivers. The study also found that hybrids also cost an average of 13% more to repair after an accident than other vehicles.

Before we jump to conclusions, though, let’s keep a few things in mind. Hybrid drivers tend to skew toward upper-middle class urban dwellers. People who live in cities tend to accrue more moving violations, and, they likely have the disposable income to take more long-distance trips in their cars.

In other words, the real question is: Do hybrid owners drive more because they own hybrids or simply because of the demographic they represent?

Hybrid Car Owners Drive More and Get More Traffic Tickets, Study Finds (DriveOn)

Comments 

DaveInLBC

I drive a lot of miles therefore I bought a hybrid- I don't drive more because I have a hybrid. I have owned a hybrid for the last 4 (almost 5 years) and have driven over 160,000 miles (maybe closer to 200k between my other vehicles too) over the last 4.5+ years! My goodness!! I didn't realize how much I drive until now. I have also received NO tickets.

DodgeFan

Makes sense, the more you drive, the more opportunity you have for tickets. The rising cost of damage is chronic problem to all cars. I simple love tap equals thousands of dollars of damage. The NHTA needs to bring back real bumper that can handle the damage. I don't blame the insurance company for being mad, now simple collisions kill almost any chance for profilt. Maybe they will start giving discounts to people with clunkers now. Wait they already do and they don't pay anything out.

Angelo_Frank

Hybrid drivers, especially Prius ones, tend to get in the commuter lanes on California freeways and speed like there is no tomorrow. Maybe it's just the attitude that "they have got it, so why not flaunt it?" ...and those with non-hybrids, "just get out of their way."

L

In my day to day commuting I don't see many hybrid drivers driving at a lower speed to optimize thier gas savings. Most of the ones I see are FLYING down the highway in the HOV lanes or around town. I do not own a hybrid but from what I've seen of them on TV and in magazines if you drive a hybrid aggresively you will only get about 44 miles per gallon. That doesn't seem great at all for the cost of the car when a regular civic for several thousand less will get you 40 miles per gallon. I think driving a hybrid is more of a status symbol.

Yeah, I agree. On the highway, you'll only see a Prius in the left lane doing 80+. On suburban/city streets, they're ALWAYS the first off the line.

Makes me wonder why they bought a hybrid in the first place, if all you're gonna do is floor the thing and get crappy mileage.

valero

They are first off the line in town because they are running on the electric motor which is all torque. Jack rabbit starts don't cost them in gas usage.

Paul

Its a status symbol thing,just like the SUVs and HUMMERs once were.They gotta show it off and brag that they are "Green",or at least they think they are,it costs more to manufacture and scrap a hybrid,so in reality,they arent saving the environment much if at all.If they had always owned 30-40 mpg cars they wouldnt think a hybrid is such a big deal,but I bet most Prius owners moved down from pickups and SUVs or luxo hogs,so to them,40-50 mpg is a big boasting point.And what if I lose 10-20 mpg by flooring it....I will still get 30 mpg right?
Frankly I will keep my 36 mpg Mitsubishi Mirage that cost me only $7999 7+ years ago.

Valero,

Even with all the instant torque from the batteries, I commonly see Priuses doing their 10-second 0-60 to the next stop light.

I've never driven a hybrid before, but I know enough about them to know that that engine's definitely kicking in the way most drive.

Plus, the battery only helps them accelerate; the Prius' battery isn't strong enough to allow for more-than-moderate acceleration over ~20 MPH or so.

Doc

Hybrid drivers are usually very successful people - more successful than the ignorant dolts who posted some of the comments above. They don't mind paying a speeding ticket once in a while because they have plenty of money and don't have to drive a BMW or Audi to prove it. Valero, L, Billy, Paul and Angelo: Hybrid drivers are more successful than you and probably in a hurry to get somewhere and get something done. You all should try it sometime.

Friend

I work for a company that gives me the opportunity to drive a variety of vehicles. Hybrids are typically hard for me to drive quickly--especially the Prius, unless it is in "power" mode--so I find it surprising that some people have witnessed so many speeding hybrids. When quick acceleration is required, I find myself having to mash the accelerator pretty hard.

GR

There's no such thing as a quick Prius.

Robert

Hey Doc your an ass hole and a dumbass. Hybrid owners are not all successful people. Gee I didn't know that owning a car that's in the low 20 to mid 30 thousand dollars ment I was "successful". Speeding is reckless driving and your more likely to hit someone or something so if you think that hybrid owners need to speed then you shouldn't be on the road since you think that you and "successful" people are better than the rest of us. Have a fun time trying to tell the local police officer about your theory on why it’s okay for hybrid owners to speed jackass.

Doc,

You're correct.

I'm a 20-year-old college student.

Oh, damn. You make more money than me.

That logic doesn't even make sense.

How in the world does speeding have any correlation with wealth? Provide facts, buddy, because everything you said is worthless.

I bet it made ya feel good that you (think) you ousted someone 1/4 of your age.

Angelo_Frank

"Valero, L, Billy, Paul and Angelo: Hybrid drivers are more successful than you and probably in a hurry to get somewhere and get something done. You all should try it sometime."

Doc, you had better get busy then, and do something with your life, if you want to be "successful". Instead you waste your valuable time posting inane threads on this site. Hurry up! Get something done, Doc. Jump into your Prius and floor it!

Doc

Hmmm...very interesting. None of these geniuses who like to generalize about hybrid drivers like it too much when somebody else generalizes about them in a different way.

Dan

You all got TROLLED!

You know, Doc, I would normally have given you a fairly weak troll grade, because it was too angry, maybe a C-, maybe a C, but you managed to get a few responses, so congrats! B+!

ThinkerDude

I don't understand why some people get offended when it is said that most Prius owners got their cars looking for the image, and not because of fuel savings... even the NY Times mentioned it 2 years ago...

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/04/business/04hybrid.html?ex=1341288000&en=4beada66541df849&ei=5124

It is like the lawyers or doctors who buy a Harley or the suburban people with a big pick up truck.

I know some people who own hybrid Civics and Escapes and they are not screaming to everyone: "I am holier than thou because I drive a Hybrid".

Doc

Hey Dan,
Don't judge others when you don't even know the difference between ethanol and oil!

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