• Oct 18, 2010
Quality Planning has just released its findings on which vehicles are more likely to snag their drivers a speeding ticket and who's likely to be behind the wheel when the blue lights come on. Surprisingly enough, the auto insurance analyst's list isn't dominated by hot-blooded young men with high-powered sports cars. Instead, the study found that of the top 10 vehicles most likely to be ticketed, each carried an average driver age of over 30 years old with the fair majority falling over the 40-year-old mark. Even more surprising, on average, seven of the top 10 vehicles were more likely to be ticketed with a female driver behind the wheel.

So which vehicles took the top honors? The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class took the gold as the most ticketed vehicle, walking away with four times more tickets than the national average. In second place, the Toyota Camry Solara came in with 3.5 times the national average. Interestingly enough, Scion walked away with two spots in the top five, with the tC taking number three and the xB snagging the fifth spot. That mark was only bested by the Silver Arrow, which took three spots in the top 10. Hit the jump for a look at the full press release, but only after checking out our gallery of the unlikely offenders below.


[Source: Quality Planning | Main image: Corbis/Getty]

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Auto Insurance Analysis: Does What We Drive Affect How We Drive?

In its second annual study of vehicle types, their driver profiles, and the frequency of traffic violations, auto insurance analytics firm Quality Planning debunks conventional wisdom that high-performance cars attract the most tickets.

SAN FRANCISCO, October 12, 2010: Quality Planning (QPC), a Verisk Analytics company that validates policyholder information for auto insurers, has released updated findings from its original study, published in 2009, that explored the relationship between the cars people drive and how people drive them. Newly expanded to include available statistics, the 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.

Quality Planning found that the origins of vehicles in the "Spirited Vehicles" category were predominantly those of foreign manufacturers but not necessarily of German or Italian heritage. Drivers of the Mercedes- Benz SL-Class roadster topped the list, with four times the number of violations compared with the average.

But, not surprisingly, the car Toyota designed expressly for Gen 'Y'ers, the Scion, had not one but two
entries in the top ten. The big Hummers and the Pontiac Grand Prix rounded out this category. Consistent
with the findings of last year's study, SUVs and hatchbacks showed lower violations on average than
traditional two- and four-door vehicles.

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

Make Model, Body Style, Violations*, Average Age, % Male
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, Convertible, 404
Toyota Camry-Solara, Coupe, 349
Scion TC, Coupe, 343,
Hummer H2/H3, SUV, 292
Scion XB, Hatchback, 270
Mercedes-Benz CLS-63 AMG, Sedan, 264
Acura Integra, Coupe, 185
Pontiac Grand Prix, Sedan, 182
Mercedes-Benz CLK 63 AMG, Sedan, 179
Volkswagen GTI, Hatchback, 178

Violations/100,000 miles driven, expressed as percentage of average.

For a complete list, see below.

Looking at the gender breakdown, 73 percent of Hummers tended to be driven by men, generally between
30 and 60 years old. Also of interest, only the Mercedes CLS sedan and the Acura Integra coupe were more likely to be driven by men than women. Conversely, Camry-Solara drivers were 61 percent female, with only 26 percent younger than 30.

Those vehicles that Quality Planning classified as "Cautious Vehicles" offered an interesting contrast. With respect to body type, eight of the top ten were either an SUV or minivan. This suggests that carrying
passengers, and possibly younger passengers in car seats, makes a noticeable difference in how one drives.

Interestingly, 60 percent of SUV drivers in this category were women, whereas for minivans, 51 percent of these drivers were women. In two instances - the Oldsmobile Silhouette minivan and the Buick LaCrosse SUV - the drivers were split 50/50 across gender but differed dramatically in age, with Buick showing 81 percent of ticketed drivers over 60 years old compared with just 8 percent of Silhouette drivers.

Table 2: "Cautious Vehicles" (vehicles with lowest percentage of violations)
Make Model, Body Style, Violations*, Average Age, % Male
Buick Rainier, SUV, 23
Mazda Tribute, SUV, 26
Chevrolet C/K- 3500/2500, Pickup, 26
Kia Spectra, Sedan, 27
Buick Lacrosse, SUV, 32
Saturn Aura Hybrid, Sedan, 37
Oldsmobile Silhouette, Minivan, 37
Chevrolet Uplander, Minivan, 38
Hyundai Tucson, SUV, 38
Pontiac Vibe, SUV, 39

*Violations/100,000 miles driven, expressed as percentage of average.

For a complete list, see below.

"These findings and the corresponding trends they reveal are very interesting," said Bob U'Ren, senior vice president of Quality Planning. "Besides the sociological aspect of 'who drives what,' the manner in which private passenger cars and trucks are driven has a meaningful bearing on how much individuals and families pay for auto insurance."

Study Methodology

Traffic code violations data for a one-year period from February 2009 through February 2010 were used for the study. Vehicles that were discontinued for more than ten years were not included in the analysis.
Violations were then standardized based on the number of violations per 100,000 miles driven for each
model. That standardization accounts for the differences in average annual miles driven by different
models. Then, each vehicle model's violation count per 100,000 miles was compared with the average
across all the models to identify the 25 models with the highest and lowest violations.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 57 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Funny, when I had my M-B (before the raft of cheap-er ones), cops never gave me a ticket.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A few surprises there.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The cautious vehicles list is just a whole bunch of cars you really don't want to own.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Buick Lacrosse an SUV??? All respect for this article is gone.
      • 4 Years Ago
      When do we say enough is enough. No more speeding tickets. [tax]

      If a State converts a liberty into a privilege the citizen can engage in the right with impunity. Shuttlesworth v.Birmingham
      No state shall convert a liberty into a privilege, license it,and attach a fee to it. Murdock v. Pennsylvania
      The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime. Miller v. US
      There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of this exercise of constitutional rights. Sherer v. Cullen
      “When rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or
legislation which would abrogate them.” Miranda vs. Arizona
        • 4 Years Ago
        Where exactly does the constitution talk about the right to drive a car?

        Probably somewhere in the 28th amendment.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Constitution does not give you your rights. [just look at the 2nd Amendment, it refers to a right that you already have]
        If you have to 'ask' government what your rights are, they will tell you that you have none.

        The right to freely travel, the right to own property, the right to freely associate...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Real Americans Drive Real American cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not surprised at all to see the TC in the top 3. Most of the owners around here think their 160 hp TC is a sports car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      "In second place, the Toyota Camry Solara came in with 3.5 times the national average"

      Because SUA?
      • 4 Years Ago
      How is Jeep Wrangler not among the most cautious? You can't break the speed limit in a Wrangler.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What bothers me is idiots buying Hummers and speeding. This has got to be the Stupidest vehicle on the list to speed in. If you can afford a Hummer, you can afford a Porsche, and Not Crash.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah right? I can't stand the people who speed in Hummers and lifted heavy-duty trucks. I don't even know how those lifted trucks are even street legal. If they rear end me or anyone for that matter, they're screwed.
      • 4 Years Ago
      why do they cite speeding drivers?
      speed doesn't kill, stupidity kills
      look at how those dumb drivers on the road change lanes, traveling 65 in the left lanes on highway, etc..
        • 4 Years Ago
        For every crash, there are 3 collisions that occur:

        Car against car

        Body against car (airbag)

        Body against body (internal organs hitting the rib cage, etc)

        • 4 Years Ago
        Of course speed doesn't kill. What kills is the sudden slow-down when crashing.
        More speed = more slow-down.
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