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Can Your Car Help You Avoid a Speeding Ticket?

Are you more likely to get a speeding ticket in one car than another? If you’re a habitual speeder, chances are that you’ll get nailed sooner or later no matter which car you’re driving. But there may be other factors at work. For instance, have you ever been pulled over and uttered the words, or even thought to yourself, “Out of all the traffic, why me?” You probably suspect that something in addition to speed put the crosshairs on you.

Almost as long as there have been automobiles and speed traps, there has been a popular belief that some car colors (red, yellow, orange and so forth), as well as certain car types (convertibles, performance models and the like) attract more attention than others. A bright-yellow Chevy Corvette convertible is certainly easier to pick out of a pack than a silver Subaru Legacy sedan.

Police officers are as human as the rest of us, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to learn that unconsciously, when given the choice, they might target a certain type or color car over another. Not to mention, certain types of drivers tend to buy cars that reflect their driving style. People who like to drive fast often buy the most horsepower they can afford. The fact that police officers might share this notion shouldn’t be shocking.

Some Actual Numbers

Insurance.com is an online car-insurance shopping site. In 2014, it released the Ticket Magnet list, which identifies the percentage of owners who received a speeding ticket between January 1, 2013 and July 2014 for every model car on the road at the time. I’m not sure what it means, if anything, but some of the results are surprising. For example, high on the list in fifth place is the Subaru Tribeca crossover with 29.7 percent of its drivers receiving tickets. Among the models with the lowest percentage of ticketed drivers is the Dodge Viper, which only had 5.3 percent of its owners receiving tickets. The average for all cars was 19.9 percent.

Flying in the face of the idea that bright-colored, hot cars get the most tickets, a car’s age seems to have little impact on its ability to attract tickets. With the second-highest percentage of tickets at 32.7 percent is the Pontiac GTO, which has been out of production since 2009. In fourth place with 30.8 percent of its drivers receiving tickets is the Toyota Supra, which disappeared with the 1998 model year. And in seventh place, at 28.8 percent, is the Mercury Topaz, a plain-Jane compact that hasn’t been seen in showrooms since 1994.

Removing models that have been out of production for at least five years (because they are less likely to be considered by used-car shoppers), here are the models remaining in the 10 highest and lowest spots on the Ticket Magnet list.

10 Models With the Highest Ticket Frequency

Subaru WRX — 33.6%

Scion FR-S — 32.6%

Subaru Tribeca — 29.7%

Scion tC — 28.8%

Toyota FJ Cruiser — 28.4%

Mazda2 — 28.1%

Hyundai Veloster — 28.1%

Volkswagen GTI — 28.1%

Scion xA — 27.8%

Mini Cooper Countryman — 27.5%

10 Models With the Lowest Ticket Frequency

Volvo XC60 — 9.5%

Chevrolet Captiva — 8.8%

Mini Cooper Clubman — 8.4%

Porsche Cayman — 7.4%

Cadillac XLR — 6.7%

Jaguar XJR — 6.6%

Land Rover LR4 — 5.4%

Dodge Viper — 5.3%

Ford Club Wagon — 4.8%

DCX Sprinter — 3.8%

What it means to you: Speeding excessively, and often, will probably earn you a ticket somewhere along the line no matter which car you drive. However, smaller, sportier cars and their drivers do seem to attract more tickets than larger, less flashy models.

Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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