If you were deciding between a car and an SUV and have a bit of a lead foot, here’s another good reason to go with the latter: in general, SUV’s get fewer tickets. Why is this may be a bit surprising.
A survey of the most ticketed cars in the country listed a number of luxury and sports cars, but not SUV’s. Another corollary discovered in the survey of tickets was the higher number of insurance claims associated with said vehicles. So why do SUV’s– and their drivers– get fewer tickets?
The first and most obvious reason that SUV’s get fewer tickets is their user base. Most SUV purchasers need more cargo room and passenger space, and the most common reason for extra space is for family members.
A Look at Four Factors
Because of this, reasonable assumptions are made, including by police: married families are almost always headed by safer drivers as they are more concerned for their children’s safety. Likewise, SUV’s may not be as pretty as sports cars for their bulkiness, further lowering interest in the vehicles.
A second reason extends into the purchasing habits of SUV users. As SUV’s typically use much more fuel than smaller cars, there are fewer tendencies among their drivers towards fuel-burning activities such as joyriding or speeding (the latter also being a ticketable offense. Because of their relative safety in comparison to other cars, there are fewer chances of accidents that will require police intervention.
Another factor is off-the line speed. SUVs can be powerful in terms of torque, but they aren’t known for speedy acceleration. This can keep you out of trouble if you like to quickly get up to freeway speed or cruising around town.
Finally, the chances of an SUV being stolen are somewhat lower as well for the reasons above, so in general SUV’s are less interesting to the police overall. Because of this, there is a lower likelihood that they will pay as much attention to an SUV that is a couple of inches out of place on the curb or other minor infraction.
Auto insurance shopping website insurance.com studied the rates that different car models receive traffic tickets. Among their top 20 list, only one SUV made the list – the Chevrolet Tahoe K1500 – and it came in tied for last on the list with a 29% ticket rate. The complete list can be found here.
In short, there are four main reasons that SUV’s are ticketed less than cars: they’re understood to be safer vehicles, they are assumed to have safer drivers, they generally don’t accelerate as quickly as cars, and they don’t attract much attention. So if you were looking for a car that would reduce your risk of getting a ticket, it’s better to go with an SUV.
Of course, if you were originally looking for an SUV anyway, chances are higher that you are already a safer driver, allowing you to keep your family better protected. Just don’t expect to save on insurance for SUVs and be sure to keep your SUV well guarded.