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Car speeding town the road

Speeding is one of the leading causes of driver fatalities in the United States each year. There’s no question that some drivers have more of a lead foot than others. According to the data, they differ in their car preferences, too. 

Car crashes involving speeding result in nearly 10,000 deaths annually, according to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Association). If spread evenly across the year, more than 25 deaths per day in the United States would result from speeding. There are various reasons that a driver may speed; many who exceed the posted limit may wrongly treat speeding as if it’s harmless, unaware of the extent to which their behavior endangers themselves and others. On the other hand, some speeding drivers just don’t care, enjoying the thrill of zipping ahead of others. Some drivers on open roads with few cars around them may not even realize how fast they’re driving until it’s too late. 

Luckily, motor vehicle fatalities from speeding have trended downwards each year due to improvements in vehicle safety and programs promoting seatbelt use and discouraging impaired driving. However, this doesn’t mean that speeding is no longer an issue; nearly thirty percent of all motor vehicle crash fatalities in the United States still involve a driver who has exceeded the posted speed limit. 

Across the United States, an average of around 10.5 percent of Americans has at least one speeding ticket on their record. The data scientists at Insurify have already found that speeding rates vary significantly by car model. But how does this variation hold up when comparing car brands? To identify which car brands attract the highest proportion of lead-footed drivers, Insurify’s data science team turned to its database of over 4 million car insurance applications and crunched the numbers.

Insights:

  • National average. Among all drivers in the United States, an average of 10.53 percent of drivers have a speeding violation on their record. The average selling price of a new car in the United States in 2021 is $40,857, according to analysts at Kelley Blue Book.
  • Sporty cars, speedy drivers. It may come as no surprise that three of the top five car makes with the most speeding tickets are considered sporty brands. And four of the five ‘worst offenders’ — car models with the greatest share of speeding tickets within each of the five car makes — are sporty sedans. Perhaps the drivers who are the worst at respecting the speed limit tend to gravitate towards cars with powerful engines and better handling. 
  • The car brand with the lowest speeding rate. Lincoln is the car brand whose drivers have the lowest share of speeding tickets in 2021: overall, only 8.78 out of every 100 Lincoln drivers have a speeding ticket on their record. This means that Lincoln drivers receive a speeding ticket 16.60 percent less often than the average driver. Even the Lincoln MKZ, the Lincoln model with the highest rate of speeding tickets (10.55 out of every 100 drivers), still lands almost precisely at the national average.

Bar Graph of the 5 Cars with the Most Speeding Tickets, 2021

Methodology

To determine the car makes with the most speeding tickets, the data science team at Insurify, a site to compare auto insurance rates, referred to its database of over 4 million car insurance applications. 

To apply for car insurance, drivers disclose information such as the car they drive and their recent driving history, including past violations on their driving record. Insurify’s data science team calculated the proportion of drivers with one or more speeding citations on their record for each car brand. From this analysis, they identified the top five car brands with the highest share of speeding tickets. For each of the five car brands, they identified the car model with the highest share of speeding tickets and the car model with the lowest share of speeding tickets. These car models were designated the “worst offender,” and the “best behaved,” respectively.

Top 5 Car Brands with the Most Speeding Tickets

5. RAM 

  • RAM drivers with a speeding violation: 12.22 out of 100 (15.74% above the national average)
  • The worst offender: RAM 1500 (12.28 out of 100 drivers reporting a speeding ticket on their record) 
  • The best-behaved: RAM 2500 (11.54 out of 100 drivers reporting a speeding ticket on their record)

Rounding out the list of the top five car makes with the most speeding tickets is RAM, whose drivers rack up speeding tickets nearly 16 percent more frequently than average. Previously under the Dodge nameplate, RAM trucks have been produced separately from Dodge since 2009. RAM 1500 drivers are this car brand’s worst offenders, racking up speeding tickets over 17 percent more frequently than the average driver. On the other hand, RAM 2500 drivers are the best behaved compared to all other RAM models… at least for speeding ticket rates. Despite this, their speeding rate is still 9 percent above the national average. 

4. Maserati 

  • Maserati drivers with a speeding violation: 12.23 out of 100 (16.67% above the national average)
  • The worst offender: Maserati GranTurismo (13.62 out of 100 drivers reporting a speeding ticket on their record) 
  • The best-behaved: Maserati Quattroporte (9.90 out of 100 drivers reporting a speeding ticket on their record)

With a long history steeped in racing and a reputation for fast, luxurious cars, Maserati is one of the two luxury Italian brands to land among the top five with the most speeding tickets. Maserati drivers have the fourth-highest share of speeding tickets compared to any other car brand. On average, Maserati drivers rack up speeding tickets at a rate that’s 17 percent higher than the national average. The Maserati GranTurismo (discontinued in 2019) is this car brand’s worst offender, with nearly 14 out of every 100 drivers reporting at least one speeding ticket on their record. On the other hand, the Maserati Quattroporte, whose drivers have a below-average speeding rate, is this car brand’s best-behaved. 

3. Volkswagen

  • Volkswagen drivers with a speeding violation: 12.24 out of 100 (17.77% above the national average)
  • The worst offender: Volkswagen GTI (15.88 out of 100 drivers reporting a speeding ticket on their record) 
  • The best-behaved: Volkswagen Beetle (9.12 out of 100 drivers reporting a speeding ticket on their record)

Volkswagen drivers have the third-highest share of speeding tickets in the nation, compared to drivers of all other car brands. These sporty, stylish cars are known for being reasonably priced, performance-oriented, and fun to drive. It would seem that for some drivers, these cars are a little too fun to drive fast, particularly Volkswagen’s worst offender, the Volkswagen GTI. Drivers of this compact car have a speeding ticket rate that’s 51 percent higher than the national average. Alternatively, the Volkswagen GTI may just attract a higher proportion of lead-footed drivers, as it’s one of the sportier, more luxurious, and powerful car options in Volkswagen’s lineup. The Volkswagen Beetle (discontinued in 2019), with a speeding ticket rate that’s 14 percent below the national average, has the best-behaved Volkswagen drivers.  

2. Subaru 

  • Subaru drivers with a speeding violation: 12.41 out of 100 (20.38% above the national average)
  • The worst offender: Subaru WRX (20.03 out of 100 drivers reporting a speeding ticket on their record) 
  • The best-behaved: Subaru Ascent (6.76 out of 100 drivers reporting a speeding ticket on their record)

Compared to all other car brands, Subaru drivers have the second-highest share of speeders in the United States. These drivers rack up speeding tickets at a rate that’s more than 20 percent higher than the national average. Although Subaru drivers are 20 percent more likely than the average driver to have a speeding ticket on their record, not all Subaru car models attract a high share of lead-footed drivers. The best-behaved of the bunch drive the Subaru Ascent, a safe, practical, and family-oriented SUV. Impressively, Subaru Ascent drivers tend to speed at a rate that’s less than two-thirds of the national average. On the other hand, the sporty Subaru WRX attracts a very high proportion of speeding drivers, nearly twice the national average. 

1. Alfa Romeo

  • Alfa Romeo drivers with a speeding violation: 14.91 out of 100 (41.45% above the national average)
  • The worst offender: Alfa Romeo Giulia (16.35 out of 100 drivers reporting a speeding ticket on their record) 
  • The best-behaved: Alfa Romeo Stelvio (12.08 out of 100 drivers reporting a speeding ticket on their record)

Alfa Romeo drivers have the highest speeding ticket rate compared to any other car in the United States. In fact, Alfa Romeo drivers are more than 40 percent more likely than the average driver to have at least one speeding ticket on their record. Alfa Romeo is the second Italian luxury automaker, along with Maserati, to rank among the top five car brands with the most speeding tickets. The Alfa Romeo Giulia is this car brand’s worst offender. On the other hand, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is this car make’s best-behaved — at least when it comes to speeding tickets. Notably, however, Alfa Romeo Stelvio drivers, while technically the ‘best behaved,’ still speed nearly 15 percent more often than the national average. 

If you have any questions or comments about this article or would like to request the data, please contact insights@insurify.com.

This article originally ran on insurify.com.

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