Blame Your Ticket On Your Car, Not Your Driving

Subaru's WRX was recently ranked as the number one ticketed vehicle, with one in three drivers recently receiving a traffic citation.

Blame Your Ticket On Your Car, Not Your Driving
G4 / "Attack of the Show"

Got a speeding ticket recently? A new study shows your lead foot might not be the only thing to blame. 

A study by insurance comparison site found the specific car you're driving could be part of the reason for those flashing lights. 

The Subaru WRX is the most ticketed car driven in the U.S. –– with one in three drivers receiving a traffic citation recently. 

Right on the WRX's tail, in second place, came the Pontiac GTO, with about 32 percent of drivers receiving traffic citations. 

Although the insurance website says more than 550,000 insurance quotes were analyzed, we're talking about correlation, not causation here. No explanation was given as to why the WRX is the most ticketed.

For the sake of our speculation, we first have to narrow down what specific "traffic citation" could be the most dependent on a car. The popular car comparison site polled police agencies and independent traffic experts to create this list of the most likely reasons for being pulled over. Those top five? Speeding, illegal cell phone use, hazardous driving, equipment violations, tailgating and improper lane changes. 

With the exception of equipment violations, the other four reasons could all be classified as "risky driving behaviors." One possible hypothesis is that drivers choose a car they believe is capable of letting them exercise their already-established dangerous behavior. 

The missing link could be "rally racing," a relatively new type of racing that combines drifting and quick turns on off road courses –– a setting that, unlike a race track, can be mimicked by an average citizen. In this video the Subaru WRX is actually presented as an ideal rally vehicle. (Video via G4 / "Attack of the Show")

And Subaru's own website shows the WRX is the model the company uses and promotes for professional rally car racing. 

Rally racing recently was picked up as an event by ESPN's X Games. 

And as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, the summer X-Games average the youngest viewers out of any sporting event. 

And as one of many reports on young drivers puts it, "We know that young beginners are more likely than older drivers to perform risky driving behaviors such as speeding, close following, and smaller gap acceptance."

So you could argue the disproportionately high ticketing of WRX drivers might be related to its use as a race car in events many young drivers are watching. Maybe if rally racers start using Priuses, we can better test this hypothesis. 

But Chris Bruce, a writer for AutoBlog, casts some doubt on the findings, saying: "These facts are almost useless because the list isn't based on percentages from the whole pool. ... All we know about the sample size for each model is that it's higher than 50."