Does What You Drive Affect How You Drive?

SL-Class When you think of the people who speed, turn without signaling, roll through stops or weave through traffic, what are they typically driving? If a Mercedes, Pontiac or Scion popped into your thought bubble, you now have data to back up your prejudice.

Quality Planning, a consultancy firm that validates automotive policyholder information for auto insurers, has just published a report that explores the relationship between the cars people buy and their driving habits.

The study uses a year’s worth of traffic code violations (from February 2009 to February 2010) for each make/model on U.S. roads and then standardizes the data per 100,000 miles driven.

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. However, there are three cars 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. Surprisingly, there isn’t a BMW among the top 10 offenders.

Why are these vehicles involved in more violations than others? It’s possible that law enforcement has a bias toward people who drive these cars, or, most likely, there is a correlation between the personality of someone who buys a Scion tC or Acura Integra, for example, and playing fast and loose with the law. Don’t blame males or youth, either. The average driver’s age of the offending vehicles range from 30 to 50 years old, and most of the top offending make/models were predominantly owned by women, not men.

As for the drivers who exhibit cautious driving characteristics, including getting fewer traffic tickets than the norm, they drive cars like the Oldsmobile Silhouette and Kia Spectra. Overall, we see more family haulers on the slow-, I mean, safe-driver list and an older average age.

Check out the full chart below and tell us which car is a typical offender in your neck of the woods?

Table 1: “Spirited Vehicles” (vehicles with highest percentage of violations)

Make

Model

Body Style

Violations

Average Age

% Male

Mercedes-Benz

SL-Class

Convertible

404%

53

41%

Toyota

Camry-Solara

Coupe

349%

50

39%

Scion

TC

Coupe

343%

30

39%

Hummer

H2/H3

SUV

292%

46

73%

Scion

XB

Hatchback

270%

37

40%

Mercedes-Benz

CLS-63 AMG

Sedan

264%

46

58%

Acura

Integra

Coupe

185%

33

60%

Pontiac

Grand Prix

Sedan

182%

40

41%

Mercedes-Benz

CLK 63 AMG

Sedan

179%

47

44%

Volkswagen

GTI

Hatchback

178%

40

44%

Table 2: “Cautious Vehicles” (vehicles with lowest percentage of violations)

Make

Model

Body Style

Violations

Average Age

% Male

Buick

Rainier

SUV

23%

61

71%

Mazda

Tribute

SUV

26%

36

29%

Chevrolet

C/K- 3500/2500

Pickup

26%

40

86%

Kia

Spectra

Sedan

27%

40

44%

Buick

Lacrosse

Sedan

32%

65

50%

Saturn

Aura Hybrid

Sedan

37%

59

14%

Oldsmobile

Silhouette

Minivan

37%

41

50%

Chevrolet

Uplander

Minivan

38%

40

54%

Hyundai

Tucson

SUV

38%

47

40%

Pontiac

Vibe

SUV

39%

41

32%

Information provided by Quality Planning

By Colin Bird | October 15, 2010 | Comments (9)
Tags: In The News

Comments 

65Chrysler300

I seem to get passed by a lot of Hondas and stuck behind a lot of Buicks.

C

Volitions, huh?

sdiego

No. I drive fast regardless of what i drive.

nony

+1, sdiego

I've driven fast in an old Taurus, V8 SHO, Focus, Jetta, Kia Rondo, Audi A4 and now my Audi S5. Personal or rental, doesn't matter so much for me.

There are days that I take it very easy and smooth in my S5, then there are times where I drive more aggressively.

Paul

I think top speed should be limited on vehicles anyway.Who needs to illegally do 130 mph today? With all the traffic congestion and all the people with cell phones to call in a bogey,speeding just isnt an option anymore.Save the gas,drive with common sense,not a total lack of...

skinner

I did triple digit in my 2010 Prius last week. Didn't take too long to get there. And the speedo was still climbing until I backed off. Those cars are only slow if you drive them slow.

billy bob

I drive the same no matter what I'm driving. I've done over 110 in a Dodge Neon, 100 in a ford maverick, well over a 120 in a Dodge Dart! But thats once in a blue moon. 98% of the time I behave myself. I got pulled over once for 100 in a 55. The officer was very kind and let me of with a warning! I stopped speeding all the time because I got tired of paying the state my hard earned money. Be safe out there!

this can be well planned through limiting the road speed

I love this post! In regards to law enforcement discrimination, imho, I think they are more LENIENT towards Mercedes drivers and give them more respect. I think you are less likely to get pulled over in a Benz. I don't know about a Scion or Toyota. I drive an older, cheaper Mercedes, nowhere near a SL roadster but I have to admit I do drive more obnoxiously because of it. It sounds horrible but I wouldn't have the guts to be like that in my old 92 Accord. A funny tidbit about the "Kia" as being a cautious car, did you know there was a high speed chase in Los Angeles the other day with the offender being a woman and driving a Kia at 100mph?? The chase went all the way from Oxnard to LA county to OC. I didn't know a Kia could go so fast or drive so far without falling apart! I was watching the chase and shocked to find out it was a Kia outrunning all the cops!

http://www.ocregister.com/news/orange-271305-chase-driver.html

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