There is an old myth that many still believe about what cars police officers pull over the most for traffic violations: red cars. Many people may still hold onto the belief that red cars are more expensive to insure because they believe that they are targeted for, and may even hold back on purchasing a new car in their preferred shade of maraschino cherry because of this belief. Rest assured, this is just a myth.
The logic is that a red car is more noticeable on the road, especially when it is speeding. However, insurance companies do not actually take the color of a car into consideration when calculating a driver’s insurance rate. Factors that are considered include the year of the car’s model, the age of the car, the brand of the car, the specific model of the car, and the driver’s record. But what about police officers?
What Kinds of Cars Do Police Target?
As far as receiving traffic violations, drivers of red cars are not the target. Regardless of color, studies show the target is typically a middle-aged driver displaying signs of a mid-life crisis. Specific makes and models of cars do receive higher than average citations.
A study conducted by Quality Planning, a company that works with car insurance companies to validate policyholder information, revealed that middle-aged drivers, or younger men, driving foreign makes are targeted significantly more frequently than others, particularly men and women who favored Mercedes-Benz or the Volkswagen GTI. Men who drive these cars are at least twice as likely to receive a traffic citation as the average driver.
To reach this conclusion, Quality Planning analysts reviewed a year’s worth of traffic citation data (February 2009-February 2010). They tallied the number of violations accumulated by a variety of cars. To avoid skewed results due to variations in the numbers of these vehicles on the road, they averaged the violation count per 100,000 miles driven. After all factors were accounted for, the #1 most-ticketed vehicle on the road was revealed: the Mercedes-Benz SL Class, a luxury convertible that starts at over $100,000.
Drivers of this model were found to be 4 times more likely to receive a ticket than the average person. The average driver of this vehicle? About 41% of drivers for this vehicle are male, while 59% are female. The average age is 53. In the study, drivers of this vehicle received 404% more violations.
If that wasn’t so surprising, due to the nature of the sporty vehicle, the #2 most-ticketed car may shock you: the Toyota Camry. This model is mostly driven by women: 62% of drivers are female while 38% are male. The average driver’s age is 50. A Camry driver is 3.5 times more likely to get a ticket, as they received 349% more violations.
In third and fourth place are the Scion Tc (average driver is a 30 year old male) and the Hummer H2 (46 year old male), representing the only SUV in the lineup. Mercedes-Benz takes 2 more spots in the top 10: the Mercedes-Benz CLS-63 AMG ranks 6th, and the Mercedes-Benz CLK 63 AMG ranks 9th. Both of these models are sedans; while the former is mostly driven by men (58%), the latter is mostly driven by women (56%). The average ages for drivers of these vehicles are 46 and 47.
Contact Brian Gabriel
From these statistics it appears evident that police officers on traffic duty are not targeting any specific color or style of car; however, there are specific models of certain brands that tend to be pulled over more frequently than others. It is possible they are targeting the driver himself, due to age or sex of the driver. If you drive any of these vehicles and have been cited for serious traffic infractions like reckless driving, speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney. Brian Gabriel of The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel has been defending severe traffic violations and cases of DUI for over 30 years. Call 561-622-5575 today.