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Do Drivers of Red Cars Get More Speeding Tickets?

How many people do you think forgo purchasing that cherry-red car of their dreams... in order to avoid getting speeding tickets? It's a common idea that drivers in red cars attract the attention of cops over more neutral colored cars around them... even if they're going the same speed as everyone else! There's no conclusive data that shows whether or not this is true... or simply a myth. We've helped people who received traffic tickets in just about every color and type of car, so we don't have much conclusive data on the matter, either.

"Drivers of Red Cars Do Get More Tickets"

Walter Meyer, former Comedy traffic school instructor, and creator of Road Smartz (a game that teaches safe driving), once got access to the AAA's library in Los Angeles where he found a host of information on car color and accident/ticket statistics. "According to the chart," he said, "drivers of red cars do get more tickets and in more accidents per capita than any other color." But he thinks the figures more accurately represent the type of people who buy them and the way they drive their cars. "Camaros, Mustangs and Porsches come in fire-engine red. They don't make Buicks and Cadillacs in bright red because the senior drivers who buy those cars don't want red. A red Porsche looks fast even it's parked; a beige Buick could be doing 120 and look parked. People who buy red cars want to drive fast, so it makes sense they will get more tickets and get in more accidents," he added. Great point, Walt!

From a Former Motorcycle Officer's Perspective

Officer Steve Davis from the Edgewater Police Department said, "I can tell you as a former traffic motorcycle officer, no," (referring to if drivers in red cars get more tickets). "I remember hearing that even back in the 80's when I was a traffic motorcycle officer for Denver Police. I have written thousands of traffic tickets and cannot ever remember focusing on one because the car was red. I think that would be shared with most traffic officers these days as well, especially since sports cars come in LOUD colors of all types." If you're thinking about NOT getting that red car you've been dreaming of, maybe Officer Davis' insight will help. We think, as drivers, our focus should be on being a safer driver rather than focusing on evading potential tickets or on not standing out.

Driving a slow, silver car won't necessarily help either

Confession time. I work for TicketKick, and yes, I once received a speeding ticket (56 in a 50 zone)... get this... in my SILVER SMART CAR, which is probably one of the slowest cars on the road! Yeah, I guess it's noticeable because it's different, but it certainly wasn't red or bright. I actually saw the officer as I passed him, and my perception was that he was NOT focused on my car at all, rather, on what his lidar device was telling him. Sarah Lee Marks of www.mycarlady.com thinks that it has more to do with the individual. "As an auto dealer and personal car concierge, I have noted that rarely is the car color the point of first contention, but more often the driver of a red car has chosen the color because it suits their personality," she said. ...and I'd have to agree with that. If you're getting a lot of tickets, it may not be the car color you have to change. It may be your need for speed. So if that's the case, go on a roller coaster, go skydiving (please consult your doctor first!), but slow down on the road. Your need for speed has no comparison to the need we all have to keep eachother safe. Our President and Founder, Greg Muender, loves to drive fast (I mean LOVES!). But he keeps his need for speed in a controlled setting- he actually took up race car driving on a race track! He knows that even if you're a great driver, you can't control the other unforeseen elements of the road- potholes, gusts of wind, other cars getting in front of you, or your own lack of control. These types of things are considered when speed limits are set. So get on a real racetrack if you have engine fuel in your veins like he does. You may also want to consider a radar detector. I don't believe in using them to figure out what areas are "safe" to speed in without getting tickets, rather, to use it as a reminder to watch your speed. I have one, and it really helps me do just that. Now go get that bright red T-Bird you've been aching for.