Hummer drivers lead in tickets

Consumer Reports News: October 06, 2009 05:08 AM

Hummer drivers get almost five times as many tickets as the national average for all vehicles, according to a 2009 study. 
 
Conducted by San Francisco-based Quality Planning, a company that provides statistical information to insurance companies to help them determine rates, the one-year study looked at violations during 2007 and 2008. The findings were standardized based on the number of violations per 100,000 miles driven for different models. Drivers of Hummer H2s and H3s stood out over smaller vehicles, so to speak, with 4.63 time more tickets.
 
The reasons for this could be debated long and hard, but one theory was offered up by Mark S. Foster, author of “A Nation on Wheels: The Automotive Culture in America since 1945” is that “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 effect their driving attitude.”
 
A somewhat scarier interpretation was offered by Quality Planning President Dr. Raj Bhat, who said “Or perhaps Hummer drivers, by virtue of their driving position, are less likely to notice road hazards, signs, pedestrians, and other drivers.”
 
That theory could be compromised somewhat by the number two top violator on the list: The relatively low-riding Scion tC coupe. Third place also goes to Scion for the xB wagon. The study points out that younger drivers normally have a higher incidence of violations. Scion actually scored a trifecta in the study, as the xA checked in at number seven. Also in the top 10 were the 481-hp Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG and 507-hp CLS63 AMG at number four and six, respectively, proving hooliganism is classless.
 
At the other end of the spectrum, the list of cars least likely to be ticketed included models favored by a decidedly more mature demographic, with the number one spot going to the Jaguar XJ. Also on the list were the Buick Park Avenue and Rainier.
 
Interestingly, the least-likely list also included the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, whose drivers evidently don’t share the ticket-gathering ways of Hummer drivers. Or maybe they’re just better at getting away with it. 
 
Jim Travers

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