What You Drive Defines Your Driving Style

August 4, 2009

What You Drive Defines Your Driving Style


Copyright: Marketwire
Source: Marketwire
Wordcount: 931


Quality Planning, the ISO company that validates policyholder information for auto insurers, has released proprietary findings that confirm a strong correlation between what people drive and how they drive. The findings show that drivers of high-performance vehicles are by no means in the lead when it comes to counting the Top 10 most-ticketed vehicles. Topping the list with the most violations was the Hummer H2/H3, with 4.63 times the number of violations compared to the overall average. At the other end of the spectrum is the old standby — the pick-up truck.

Speculating why certain vehicles (and their drivers) are ticketed more or less frequently is a subject of great debate. The driver behind the wheel of one vehicle may be eager to express his individuality, while another views his vehicle as nothing more than a way to get from A to B. Mark S. Foster, author of “A Nation on Wheels: The Automobile Culture in America Since 1945,” offered his assessment on the statistics: “Hummer drivers feel like kings of the road because of their elevated driving position. As these statistics show, they are leading the pack when it comes to violating the law, which may reflect their driving attitude.”

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

Another surprise that emerged from the statistics: three different Scion models made the Top 10 list of vehicles with the highest percentage of violations. According to Toyota, the Scion tC”s average customer is under 25 years old, and the Scion demographic skews to early 30s. Youth typically does correlate with a higher incidence of violations, and Toyota”s popularity with youthful drivers may partially explain this new-found notoriety. Not so surprising is that two of the most powerful cars on the road, both sold by Mercedes, also appear in the Top 10.

Table 1 — vehicles with highest percentage of violations Make Model Body Style Violations* Hummer H2/H3 SUV 463% Scion tC Coupe 460% Scion XB Station Wagon 403% Mercedes Benz CLK63 AMG Coupe 397% Toyota Solara Coupe 306% Mercedes Benz CLS63 AMG Coupe 276% Scion XA Hatchback 275% Subaru Outback Station Wagon 266% Audi A4 Sedan 264% Toyota Matrix Hatchback 264% * Violations/100,000 miles driven, expressed as percentage of average.

On the “Well-Behaved Vehicle List” are those vehicles whose drivers” moving violations are well below average. Violations involving these vehicle models appear to correlate positively with driver age, occupation, and/or lifestyle. For example, the Jaguar XJ and Buick Park Avenue are often driven by mature, experienced drivers who are more focused on comfort and driving experience than on personal expression. In addition, compared to those vehicles with numerous violations, there are more minivans, SUVs, and pickups with low violations. That finding is worthy of a tip-of-the-hat to soccer moms and hard-hat workers, who, day in and day out, are among the safest drivers on the road.

Table 2 — vehicles with lowest percentage of violations Make Model Body Style Violations* Jaguar XJ Sedan 11% Chevrolet Suburban SUV 16% Chevrolet Tahoe SUV 21% Chevrolet C/K-3500/2500 Pickup 28% Buick Park Avenue Sedan 32% Mazda 6 Sedan 34% Buick Rainier SUV 37% Oldsmobile Silhouette Minivan 37% Buick Lucerne Sedan 40% GMC Sierra C1500 Pickup 40% *Violations/100,000 miles driven, expressed as percentage of average.

Study Methodology

Traffic code violations data for a one-year period from 2007 and 2008 were used for the study. Vehicles that were discontinued for more than 10 years were not included in the analysis. Violations were 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. Each vehicle model”s violation count per 100,000 miles was compared with the average across all the models to identify the 10 models with the highest and lowest violations, as compared to the average. For example, Hummer drivers were 4.63 times more likely to get a ticket, as compared to the average.

About ISO

A leading source of information about risk, ISO provides data, analytics, and decision-support services to professionals in many fields, including insurance, finance, real estate, health services, government, human resources, and risk management. Using advanced technologies to collect, analyze, develop, and deliver information, ISO helps customers evaluate and manage risk. The company draws on vast expertise in actuarial science, insurance coverages, fire protection, fraud prevention, catastrophe and weather risk, predictive modeling, data management, economic forecasting, social and technological trends, and many other fields. To meet the needs of diverse clients, ISO employs an experienced staff of business and technical specialists, analysts, and certified professionals. In the United States and around the world, ISO helps customers protect people, property, and financial assets. For more information, visit www.iso.com.

About Quality Planning

An ISO business, Quality Planning is focused exclusively on providing rating integrity solutions to auto insurers. Quality Planning works with insurance companies to identify areas of significant rating errors using sophisticated database management, statistical analysis and modeling, customized survey design, and highly targeted customer interaction. Quality Planning helps clients work within their existing rating plans and charge fair prices to policyholders based on a true representation of risk. The company was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, visit www.qualityplanning.com.

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