Traffic violation rates, the highest for drivers of Mercedes-Benz SL-Class cars

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 18, 2010

Traffic violation rates are the highest for drivers of Mercedes-Benz SL-Class convertibles, according to Verisk Analytics Inc., a supplier of data to insurers. Verisk, which is based in New Jersey, said that those who drove Mercedes-Benz SL-Class convertibles were cited four times more than the average US motorist.

In addition, Mercedes had three car models among the 10 most-cited per mile driven. Verisk’s Web site also showed that drivers of the Toyota Camry-Solara came in second while those of the Scion tC ranked third in terms of frequency of violations.

Verisk observed that the cars on the most-ticketed list tend to appeal to drivers who are either looking for speed or are younger, less-experienced motorists.

On the other hand, vehicles that were cited the least in traffic violations were those that transported more people. This list of 10 vehicles includes eight sport-utility vehicles and minivans.

The vehicle that had the lowest rate of tickets is the Rainier, an SUV from General Motors Co.’s Buick. Verisk noted that how one drives is affected significantly on whether one has passengers, possibly babies in car seats. Verisk said that SUVs and hatchbacks had lower violations on average than traditional two- and four-door vehicles.

In September, more cars were sold by Mercedes, the luxury unit of Daimler AG, than the Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus in the US. A brochure on the carmaker’s Web site boasts that the SL-Class was “born to win races.”

Upon analyzing records on traffic violations for 12 months through February, Robert Moran, a spokesman for Mercedes in the US Verisk’s Quality Planning unit, said, “These are fun-to-drive cars, and sometimes people have a little too much fun enjoying them.”

Actuarial data are used by US car insurers, including No. 1 State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., Allstate Corp. and Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s Geico Corp., in determining the rates for policyholders. [via autonews - sub. required]

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