Speeding Tickets and the Color of Your Car
Does driving a red vehicle help attract the attention of the police and make you more likely to get a speeding ticket? Do other colors make you less likely to get a ticket? We did some checking and the answer may surprise you…
If you think about it, red is the color used on traffic warning signs because it stands out the most so it would seem logical that a speeding red car might catch the attention more of police. Another theory is that the properties of red paint reflect light in a certain way to make the appearance of the vehicle moving faster than it is. (Thankfully, we didn’t find any evidence of this last theory because I didn’t want to dig out my high school science book to understand what it meant.)
But this is what we did find out…
First, we started with a check of which colors are the most popular for vehicles. According to the Axalta 2014 Global Color Popularity Report., here are what the numbers look like for last year.
1. White/White Pearl – 29 percent
2. Black/Black Effect – 19 percent
3. Silver – 14 percent
4. Gray – 12 percent
5. Red – 9 percent
6. Blue – 6 percent
7. Brown/Beige – 5 percent
8. Others – 6 percent
So if red is the color selected for nine percent of cars, it should only make up about nine percent of the vehicles getting speeding tickets.
And the survey says… no, thank you for playing. Try again.
It turns out that police departments don’t keep data on the color of the vehicles they ticket. If you speak with a police officer on which car is most likely to get a ticket, the officer will tell you – almost without fail – the color-blind radar gun will always recommend the vehicle that is speeding.
I still wanted an answer so I could irrefutably solve the debate that often happens between parents and teenage sons when the final decision on which car to purchase revolves around color.
On to the next source. More speeding tickets often lead to more vehicle accidents which leads to more insurance claims. And if there is one industry that can statistically slice and dice data, it has to be the insurance industry. If a certain color vehicle was attracting more speeding tickets, the insurance folks would know.
According to Carolyn Gorman, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute and Insurance Trade Association, “there is no data to support the assertion that red cars receive more traffic tickets than cars of any other color.”
If you’ll notice the next time you get a quote on new car insurance, the agent will ask you a lot of questions such as:
1. What kind of vehicle
2. How many miles you’ll drive each year
3. How long you’ve been driving
4. Your driving record
5. Your coverage and deductibles
The color of your vehicle isn’t considered so if you prefer the candy-apple red one or the midnight black – go ahead and get the color you like – just don’t use a lead foot to drive it.