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Is Your Car Giving You a Bad Reputation?

by | December 18, 2023

Ram drivers had the most incidents per 1,000 drivers according to a new study by Lending Tree.

Could your vehicle be giving you a bad reputation? Yes, according to Lending Tree.

Not to cast aspersions on Ram drivers, but according to the online finance company Lending Tree, Ram drivers accounted for 32.90 accidents, DUIs, speeding and citations per 1,000 drivers from Nov. 14, 2022, through Nov. 14, 2023.

Ram owners beat out second-place Tesla at 31.13 and third-place Subaru at 30.09. The first two didn’t surprise us, but Subaru? Really? Are they too busy petting their pooches while behind the wheel?

Regardless, it might surprise you that the information comes from Lending Tree. But it shouldn’t. They simply looked at their insurance quote data from their-own in-house QuoteWizard online insurance program. And what they found out was fascinating.

Mercury drivers have the fewest incidents, according to Lending Tree. But how many Mercury drivers could there be?

Driver beware

Say you’re driving home late in the evening and you see a BMW up ahead that seems to be all over the road. You might think the driver is drunk. Odds are, you’re right. BMW drivers have the highest DUI rate, almost the DUI rate of Ram drivers (and you know how bad they are), at 1.72, enough to rank second.

Of course, Lending Tree’s statistics have led the company to conclude that Ram drivers had the highest number of driving incidents in nearly half of all U.S. states.

And, for those who have heard the term “Masshole,” it may not surprise you that Massachusetts had the worst drivers out of all the states where Ram was the most prevalent, with 64.44 occurrences per 1,000 drivers. The only other brand to make to double digits is Tesla, which had the highest number of incidents in 11 states.

But remember, we’re talking any number of incidents, including accidents, DUIs, speeding and citations per 1,000 drivers. Drill down to the most accident-prone, and no vehicle competes with Tesla at 23.54 accidents per 1,000 drivers. It’s followed by second-place Ram at 22.76 and third-place Subaru at 20.90.

On a better note

But it’s a little difficult to take this study too seriously, as the company notes that brands with the lowest driving incidents are Mercury at 15.82 incidents per 1,000 drivers, Pontiac at 16.24 and Saturn at 16.84. Given that none of these brands have sold a new vehicle in at least 13 years, it’s little wonder.

And you’ll want to know that drivers of Mitsubishi had the lowest DUI rate. Again, no surprise as the company sold a mere 45,540 vehicles across five models through the second quarter of 2023.

So it’s hardly stunning to find these drivers have a DUI rate of 0.89 per 1,000 vehicles. Nor is it shocking that sober Scandinavian Volvo comes in second at 0.92, followed by Mercury and Kia drivers at 0.93.

Why does this matter? A car’s bad reputation means you’ll pay more for insurance, not counting your driving record.

Your driving record also plays a part in the cost of car insurance.

“A vehicle’s crash rate is just one of the factors insurance companies look at to determine how risky a particular model may be to insure,” says Rob Bhatt, LendingTree insurance expert and a licensed insurance agent.

“That said, a prior ticket, accident or DUI on your driving record usually has a bigger impact on your rates than your vehicle’s safety record.”

Bhatt says that a speeding ticket will increase your insurance as much as 20%, accidents by about 40% and a DUI 60% or more. So take a deep breath and drive carefully. You’ll be saving yourself money and aggravation.


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