Source: MSN Money on Jan 21, 2009

Which cars draw the most tickets?

 

A yearlong study identifies the vehicle -- and it's a big one -- whose drivers get ticketed the most. The research suggests that what you drive may indicate how you drive.

By MSN Money staff

Drivers of Hummer SUVs were 4.63 times more likely to get a traffic ticket than the average driver, concludes a yearlong study by a company that helps insurers identify risks.

ISO Quality Planning, the San Francisco company that studied the records of 1.7 million drivers, compiled a list of ticket magnets that confirmed some long-held notions: Owners of the 507-horsepower Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG and similarly muscular CLK63 AMG received outsized numbers of tickets, as did the generally young owners of the relatively inexpensive Scion tC, xB and xA, and the Audi A4 sports sedan.

But also on that most-ticketed list were the Subaru Outback and the Toyota Camry Solara and Matrix, three cars not known for great speed or expressing the rebellious nature of their owners. Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, virtually identical mechanically to their General Motors sibling Hummer, appeared on the least-ticketed list.

Sharing the bottom of the list? Buicks, minivans and pickups.

 

'Sense of power'

Sales of Hummers fell 51% in 2008.

Analysts at ISO Quality Planning were more than willing to pile on.

"The sense of power that Hummer drivers derive from their vehicle may be directly correlated with the number of violations they incur," said Raj Bhat, the president of ISO Quality Planning. "Or perhaps Hummer drivers, by virtue of their driving position, are less likely to notice road hazards, signs, pedestrians and other drivers."

What ISO Quality Planning believed the data show about Toyota drivers was unclear from its news release.

Insurance claims data generally back up ISO Quality Planning's findings. Ratings information from State Farm, for instance, advises Hummer owners to expect to pay significantly higher than standard premiums for liability. Likewise, Scion owners typically face much higher than standard rates for comprehensive and collision insurance. (You can see how your car compares here.)

 

What's radar bait (and isn't):

Most-ticketed*

Rate

Least-ticketed*

Rate

Hummer H2/H3

463%

Jaguar XJ sedan

11%

Scion tC

460%

Chevrolet Suburban

16%

Scion XB

403%

Chevrolet Tahoe

21%

Mercedes Benz CLK63 AMG

397%

Chevrolet C/K- 3500/2500 pickup

28%

Toyota Solara Coupe

306%

Buick Park Avenue

32%

Mercedes Benz CLS63 AMG

276%

Mazda6

34%

Scion XA

275%

Buick Rainier

37%

Subaru Outback

266%

Oldsmobile Silhouette

37%

Audi A4

264%

Buick Lucerne

40%

Toyota Matrix

264%

GMC Sierra C1500 pickup

40%

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

 

1/21/2009 8:45 PM ET