Does the type of car you drive influence how likely you are to get a speeding ticket? There have been long-standing rumors that certain cars are more likely to get stopped by police officers. While some of these rumors have truth to them, experience has shown that others do not live up to the hype.
The Expensive, Luxury Car: Contrary to popular belief, the most common types of cars to get pulled over for speeding are average cars like Honda, Nissan or Ford models. It is rare that police will pull over high-end or flashy cars. Though these vehicles can go up to 200 mph, their owners tend to be cautious drivers, perhaps because they are aware they stand out from the crowd and are therefore more likely to be noticed by troopers.
The Bright Red Car: Another common misconception is that brightly colored cars are the most likely to get stopped. In reality, color only plays a role if there is a violation that the police would normally pull a driver over for. When troopers see a car speeding past them, they look for distinctive features of the vehicle to ensure they are pulling over the right vehicle. For commonplace vehicles, police will look for things like bumper stickers or items on the dashboard to identify the correct car. Because red or yellow cars are comparatively uncommon, officers can be sure they are pulling over the correct car without keeping track of any other details. In other words, red cars aren’t more likely to be pulled over because of color alone but if there are other violations taking place the police have an easier time tracking and ticketing a brightly colored car.
The Car with the Tinted Windows: Police have discretion to pull over cars with tinted windows. If you are pulled over for speeding and you have tinted windows that are darkened to the point where the driver cannot be seen during daylight hours, a cop will be much more likely to issue two tickets for those offenses.
The Out-of-State License Plate: Out-of-state drivers who are speeding faster than the flow of traffic or who happen to also have other violations like tinted windows or loud exhaust are more likely to be stopped than in-state drivers with the same violations. Police officers are aware that many out-of-state drivers do not contest their speeding tickets or erroneously think points will not transfer back to their home state and are therefore more likely to pull over an out-of-state driver.
While the best way to avoid getting pulled over is to drive safely and follow the rules of the road, knowing what the police are really looking for can help make sure the next time a car is pulled over, it’s not yours. Remember, the drivers who are dangerously speeding and weaving through traffic will be targeted no matter what vehicle they are driving, and police will give them “no brakes” (pun intended!).