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Do Red Cars Really Get More Tickets?

There is a commonly held belief that red cars are more likely to receive speeding and traffic tickets that non-red cars. Whether or not this is true has long been a topic of contention, but a number of studies have set out to remove the guesswork, looking at official figures and interviewing ticketing officers.

Red cars more speeding tickets

Do Red Cars Get More Speeding Tickets? Image ©ejcallow - click for original.

Read on to see if you are better off buying your next sports car in a color other than red.

The Official Line

When interviewed about their experience of giving tickets for speeding or other traffic violations, officers have rejected the possibility that discrimination against red cars exists. They maintained that the idea is simply not true that they actively seek out and persecute drivers of red cars over any other color. They maintain that it is purely the driver’s behavior which determines whether or not they are ticketed.

What the Numbers Say

Data from the AAA Los Angeles library shows that red cars are statistically more likely to be cited for traffic violations and to be involved in accidents than cars of any other color. There is also evidence to show that the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Roadster has earned the title of most ticketed car. Interestingly enough, it may be more down to the colors chosen by the car manufacturers which determine this finding. Simply put, flashy, fast sports cars are always available in red and red is often the most popular color. On the other hand, more conservative, family, and elderly targeted vehicles are rarely available in red.

The Driver Factor

While the color of the car may have some effect on their ticketing rate, the decisive factor is undoubtedly dependent upon the driver. It is not as simple as it seems though, with psychology being a strong push towards the purchasing of a red car. Essentially, people who buy fast cars like to drive them fast and most sports cars look great in red.

How The Red Car Effect Affects You

Unless you are immune to the testosterone-fueled effects of a fire engine-red sports car, there may be a few things to keep in mind when driving yours. While traffic police make use of sophisticated speed guns, they are more likely to aim the gun at your red car if you are driving aggressively or erratically. Avoid getting their attention unnecessarily and you should be able to stay under the radar. Another issue to be aware of is the likelihood of an accident increases dramatically as your speed increases. Limit your speed when possible and you will be able to enjoy your prized automobile for many years. Another factor to consider is the weather. Driving at speed on wet roads is one of the top five causes of fatal accidents among sports car owners.

Although the red car effect actually has some basis in statistics, the explanation is down to driver mentality more than ticketing official persecution. If you really want to do your best to avoid picking up unnecessary tickets, simply drive more safely and–maybe simplest of all–buy your sports car in a different color.

Jeffrey Dean is a car-enthusiast and freelance blogger. When not driving his own sports car, Jeffrey sometimes writes for www.carinsurance.org.uk, a website that can help you find great quotes on car insurance.

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. will #

    Yes, the theory is, red cars simply are more noticeable and therefore will attract more attention from police and highway patrol, and therefore be more prone to receiving speeding tickets.

    March 28, 2013
  2. Mike T #

    Well actually red cars are the cars that stick out the most. That’s Why insurance on a red car is more than on any other.

    March 28, 2013

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