Yes, BMW drivers do have the highest DUI rates

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It’s no secret that drivers of certain car brands have bad reputations — but are these bad reputations warranted? According to the data, it may be in some cases.

Our latest analysis uses QuoteWizard by LendingTree insurance quote data to determine which car brands have the worst drivers. We’ll also break down which brands have the drivers most responsible for accidents, DUIs and other incidents.

  • Across 30 car brands analyzed, Ram has the worst drivers. Nationally, Ram drivers had 32.90 driving incidents (accidents, DUIs, speeding and citations) per 1,000 drivers from Nov. 14, 2022, through Nov. 14, 2023. Tesla (31.13) and Subaru (30.09) were the only other brands whose drivers had incident rates above 30.00.
  • Mercury has the best drivers in the year analyzed. Mercury drivers had 15.82 incidents per 1,000 drivers nationally — less than half the rate of incidents among Ram drivers. Pontiac (16.24) and Saturn (16.84) followed.
  • Looking closer, Ram has the worst drivers in 23 states. That means Ram drivers had the highest incident rates of any brand analyzed in nearly half of all U.S. states. Of the states where Ram dominated, drivers were worst in Massachusetts at 64.44 incidents per 1,000 drivers. Meanwhile, Tesla drivers were the worst in 11 states — the only other brand in the double digits.
  • Tesla drivers have the highest accident rate. From Nov. 14, 2022, through Nov. 14, 2023, Tesla drivers had 23.54 accidents per 1,00 drivers. Ram (22.76) and Subaru (20.90) were the only other brands with more than 20.00 accidents per 1,000 drivers. Meanwhile, Pontiac (8.41), Mercury (8.96) and Saturn (9.13) were the only brands with fewer than 10.00 accidents per 1,000 drivers.
  • BMW drivers have the highest DUI rate by a wide margin. BMW drivers had 3.13 DUIs per 1,000 drivers — nearly twice the rate of DUIs among Ram drivers (1.72), the next-highest ranking auto brand. On the other end, Mitsubishi (0.89), Volvo (0.92), and Mercury and Kia drivers (both 0.93) had the lowest DUI rates. Just nine of the 30 brands analyzed had DUI rates below 1.00 among their drivers.

Based on a LendingTree analysis (using QuoteWizard by LendingTree insurance quote data) of 30 brands, Ram has the worst drivers. Nationwide, Ram drivers had 32.90 driving incidents per 1,000 drivers between Nov. 14, 2022, and Nov. 14, 2023.

For our study, driving incidents included:

  • Accidents
  • DUIs
  • Speeding
  • Citations
Rams are known for powerful engines with impressive speed and horsepower. The Ram 1500, featured on J.D. Power’s list of fastest pickup trucks, is particularly notable for its ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds.

Ram drivers finished in the top five among each of the four driving incidents analyzed. Ram drivers had more speeding incidents per 1,000 drivers (4.42) than all the brands analyzed. They also had the second most accidents (22.76) and DUIs (1.72) and the fifth most citations (8.00).

Tesla had the second-worst drivers in the country, with 31.13 driving incidents per 1,000 drivers. The brand was carried by its high number of accidents per 1,000 drivers (23.54) during the period analyzed.

Tesla also produces several vehicles known for their performance. Kelley Blue Book’s 2023 list of the 10 fastest electric cars includes four Teslas.

In third, Subaru drivers had 30.09 driving incidents per 1,000 drivers. Collectively, Ram, Tesla and Subaru were the only three brands whose drivers had incident rates above 30.00.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Mercury drivers were the best in the year analyzed — more than 50% safer than Ram drivers. Nationwide, Mercury drivers had 15.82 incidents per 1,000 drivers, ahead of Pontiac (16.24) and Saturn (16.84).

Driving incident rates per 1,000 drivers by brand

Rank Car brand Driving incidents per 1,000 drivers
1 Ram 32.90
2 Tesla 31.13
3 Subaru 30.09
4 Volkswagen 27.92
5 Mazda 27.74
6 BMW 26.82
7 Lexus 26.73
8 Infiniti 26.72
9 Hyundai 25.47
10 Toyota 25.13
11 Jeep 25.06
12 Kia 24.88
13 Honda 24.83
14 Audi 24.36
15 Nissan 24.18
16 Mercedes-Benz 23.88
17 Chevrolet 22.69
18 Ford 22.46
19 Mitsubishi 22.28
20 Volvo 22.24
21 GMC 22.07
22 Dodge 21.23
23 Acura 19.91
24 Chrysler 19.21
25 Lincoln 18.79
26 Buick 18.72
27 Cadillac 17.93
28 Saturn 16.84
29 Pontiac 16.24
30 Mercury 15.82

Source: LendingTree analysis of QuoteWizard by LendingTree insurance quote data from Nov. 14, 2022, through Nov. 14, 2023.

The type of vehicle you drive and the blemishes on your record (whether they’re crashes or citations) can impact your car insurance rates.

“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.”

When you take a closer look by state, Ram has the worst drivers in nearly half the country. Incident rates for Ram drivers are higher than any other brand in 23 states — significantly higher than any of the ones analyzed.

Ram drivers had the highest incident rate in Massachusetts — 64.44 per 1,000 drivers. The only state with a higher incident rate for a particular car brand was Rhode Island, where Infiniti drivers had 64.69 incidents per 1,000 drivers.

Another LendingTree study found that Rhode Island drivers had the most driving incidents per 1,000 drivers in the country. Meanwhile, Massachusetts and Rhode Island had the highest rate of accidents in the period analyzed.

Tesla drivers had the highest incident rate in 11 states — aside from Ram, Tesla was the only other brand in the double digits. The nine other brands with the highest driving incident rate in a state were:

  • Subaru
  • BMW
  • Infiniti
  • Volkswagen
  • Audi
  • Lexus
  • Mazda
  • Saturn
  • Volvo

Brand with highest driving incidents per 1,000 drivers by state

State Brand Driving incidents per 1,000 drivers
Alabama BMW 44.40
Alaska Volkswagen 29.09
Arizona Ram 30.22
Arkansas Ram 20.73
California Subaru 57.66
Colorado BMW 37.16
Connecticut Ram 25.87
Delaware Tesla 28.48
District of Columbia Mazda 52.08
Florida Ram 33.30
Georgia Ram 33.80
Hawaii Infiniti 52.83
Idaho Volkswagen 38.51
Illinois Ram 32.23
Indiana Tesla 43.48
Iowa BMW 46.75
Kansas Ram 31.33
Kentucky Tesla 35.29
Louisiana Ram 22.78
Maine Ram 46.27
Maryland Ram 35.76
Massachusetts Ram 64.44
Michigan Ram 17.43
Minnesota Subaru 33.28
Mississippi Tesla 32.86
Missouri Subaru 34.49
Montana Subaru 36.89
Nebraska Ram 44.46
Nevada Tesla 26.52
New Hampshire Tesla 24.63
New Jersey Volvo 32.56
New Mexico Ram 31.52
New York Ram 20.88
North Carolina Ram 47.49
North Dakota Lexus 48.58
Ohio Ram 47.81
Oklahoma Ram 24.99
Oregon Ram 43.15
Pennsylvania Tesla 32.11
Rhode Island Infiniti 64.69
South Carolina Ram 38.59
South Dakota Tesla 35.71
Tennessee Tesla 43.98
Texas Ram 38.57
Utah Audi 39.48
Vermont Infiniti 44.78
Virginia Ram 41.38
Washington Ram 44.32
West Virginia Tesla 26.82
Wisconsin Tesla 39.24
Wyoming Saturn 49.47

Source: LendingTree analysis of QuoteWizard by LendingTree insurance quote data from Nov. 14, 2022, through Nov. 14, 2023.

Tesla drivers have the highest accident rate compared with all the brands analyzed. During the period analyzed, Tesla drivers had 23.54 accidents per 1,000 drivers. Ram (22.76) and Subaru (20.90) were the only other brands with accident rates over 20.00 per 1,000 drivers.

It’s hard to nail down why certain brands may have higher accident rates than others. However, there are indications that certain types of vehicles attract riskier drivers than others.

“Most people who drive minivans seem more interested in getting their kids around town safely than they are in zipping around in a high-horsepower vehicle,” Bhatt says. Still, he advises that “regardless of the vehicle you drive, it’s important to be responsible behind the wheel. If you look at crash statistics, you’ll see that speeding, impairment and distracted driving are among the leading causes of car crashes. These are all behaviors you can control.”

Three brands’ drivers have accident rates below 10.00. The safest drivers (in terms of accident rates) operate the following brands:

  • Pontiac: 8.41
  • Mercury: 8.96
  • Saturn: 9.13

Accidents per 1,000 drivers by brand

Rank Brand Accidents per 1,000 drivers
1 Tesla 23.54
2 Ram 22.76
3 Subaru 20.90
4 Mazda 18.55
5 Lexus 18.35
6 Volkswagen 18.17
7 BMW 17.81
8 Toyota 17.18
9 Infiniti 16.77
10 Honda 16.50
11 Hyundai 16.43
12 Jeep 16.39
13 Audi 16.02
14 Kia 15.69
15 Nissan 15.67
16 Mercedes-Benz 15.06
17 Volvo 14.96
18 Ford 14.33
19 Chevrolet 14.11
20 GMC 14.04
21 Mitsubishi 13.99
22 Dodge 12.65
23 Acura 12.40
24 Buick 11.85
25 Lincoln 11.69
26 Cadillac 11.13
27 Chrysler 11.07
28 Saturn 9.13
29 Mercury 8.96
30 Pontiac 8.41

Source: LendingTree analysis of QuoteWizard by LendingTree insurance quote data from Nov. 14, 2022, through Nov. 14, 2023.

Note: As a reminder, our rankings for the states with the most driving incidents analyze accidents, DUIs, speeding and citations — however, our analyses of each component don’t align if you add the individual rates. This is because our overall driving incident rankings focus on whether a driver has one of the four citations.

One of the worst mistakes a driver can make is operating a vehicle while under the influence.

BMW drivers have a significantly higher number of DUIs compared to other drivers — 3.13 per 1,000. Ram drivers, with the second highest rate of DUIs, have almost half that amount (1.72).

Nine car brands had drivers with DUI rates below 1.00. Of those nine, Mitsubuish (0.89), Volvo (0.92), Mercury (0.93) and Kia (0.93) drivers had the lowest DUI rates for the period analyzed.

DUIs per 1,000 drivers by brand

Rank Brand DUIs per 1,000 drivers
1 BMW 3.13
2 Ram 1.72
3 Subaru 1.45
4 Dodge 1.44
5 Jeep 1.43
6 Chevrolet 1.42
7 GMC 1.41
7 Ford 1.41
9 Honda 1.22
10 Volkswagen 1.21
11 Audi 1.20
12 Mazda 1.19
13 Mercedes-Benz 1.14
14 Toyota 1.10
15 Pontiac 1.09
15 Acura 1.09
17 Chrysler 1.07
18 Lexus 1.05
19 Hyundai 1.04
20 Tesla 1.02
20 Infiniti 1.02
22 Buick 0.98
23 Saturn 0.97
24 Lincoln 0.96
24 Nissan 0.96
26 Cadillac 0.95
27 Kia 0.93
27 Mercury 0.93
29 Volvo 0.92
30 Mitsubishi 0.89

Source: LendingTree analysis of QuoteWizard by LendingTree insurance quote data from Nov. 14, 2022, through Nov. 14, 2023.

Bad driving habits could impact you in several ways — none of which are positive. Below are some consequences you might experience if you’re irresponsible behind the wheel.

  • Higher insurance premiums: Speeding, accidents, DUIs and citations all have the potential to lead to higher insurance rates. “Our research shows that a speeding ticket can bump up the price of car insurance by 10% to 20%,” Bhatt says. “Accidents can increase your rates by about 40%. With a DUI, you could be looking at a rate increase of 60% or more.”
  • Tickets and fines: Getting a speeding ticket can be stressful, especially considering the strain it can add to your budget. Yet Bhatt points out that citations and fines are a small price to pay when considering how much worse circumstances could be if you’re involved in an accident. “I know from personal experience that speeding tickets are a pain,” says Bhatt, “but that’s the price you pay for breaking the rules.”
  • SR-22 insurance: If you become a habitual offender, particularly with speeding or reckless driving offenses, you risk having your license suspended. License suspension may also be a possibility if you drive under the influence. “Most states require you to file an SR-22 certificate to reinstate your license after offenses such as DUI, but you may also have to get one if you’re caught driving without insurance,” Bhatt says. This could make it harder for you to get insurance in the future, possibly forcing you to work with an insurer that accepts high-risk drivers and charges higher rates.

If you have blemishes on your driving record, finding competitive car insurance rates can be a challenge. But you can resolve to begin practicing responsible driving habits so you can eventually have a clean driving record in the future. In the meantime, comparing car insurance quotes from multiple providers could help you find the most affordable coverage options for your current situation.

Researchers analyzed tens of millions of QuoteWizard by LendingTree insurance quotes from Nov. 14, 2022, through Nov. 14, 2023.

To determine the best and worst drivers by car brand, researchers calculated the number of driving incidents per 1,000 drivers by brand in every state. This main category included accidents, DUIs, speeding and citations. We examined the 30 brands with the highest number of quotes.

We looked at the four categories combined and individually. Our individual analyses don’t add to the driving incident total because of drivers with multiple incidents.

The categories that fell under citations included:

  • Carelessness or recklessness
  • Improper lane usage, improper passing and improper turning
  • No insurance or no license to operate a vehicle or misrepresenting a license
  • Failure to yield to a car or pedestrian
  • Safety violations, following another vehicle closely and passing a bus
  • Not signaling
  • Hit-and-runs involving a bicycle or pedestrian
  • Having defective equipment or using the wrong road
  • Comprehensive or other citations

Source

This article originally appeared on LendingTree and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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This article originally appeared on LendingTree and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

Like MediaFeed's content? Be sure to follow us.