QOTD: What Cars Are Driven Badly in Unpleasant Conditions?

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai

Drivers of certain cars are prone to drive badly in foul weather. Over four million applicants for insurance are a pretty good indicator. Is it the type of car, or a more aggressive driver? You be the judge.

Fog, rain, snow, and ice are weather conditions that could make a road unsafe even at the posted speed limit. Driving too fast for the setting you’re in is a tough ticket to beat. You’re not a trained observer and it’s their assessment that counts. Next, your speed should be slow enough to stop and avoid a collision. It could be a third less than the limit or slower because it all depends on the situation.

Driving faster than conditions allow is as dangerous for you as it is for others nearby. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said that over a quarter of traffic fatalities are speed-related. This citation in some states can be as much as $1,000 and may include the possibility of jail time. Insurance rates rose by an average of 53 percent for this offense.

Is it ignorance, or blind faith in the bad weather capabilities of certain cars? According to Insurify analysts, certain car models attract unsafe drivers. With the huge database of insurance applicants they have to work with, they can identify the worst drivers in bad weather, and the cars they drive. The link between the two is such that they can make blanket statements about types of cars and who drives them.

There’s a luxury brand preference among bad drivers in inclement weather. The worst drivers in bad weather chose eight out of ten luxury brands. Audi and BMW each had three models, and Acura and Mercedes -Benz followed with one each. Is it the car’s abilities that cause drivers to drive too fast for the weather conditions?

Least likely to be cited are Nissan Leaf drivers at 0.9 drivers per 1,000 ticketed. Next is the Dodge Grand Caravan with 1.2 drivers, and the Volvo XC90, with 1.4 drivers. Owners of these vehicles tend to drive safely in hazardous conditions.

3.24 drivers out of 1,000 receive tickets for driving too fast in foul weather. How do the analysts know about drivers and their history behind the wheel? This information is on their insurance application, along with the type of car they drive, their driving history, and any moving violations noted.

[Images: © 2021 J. Sakurai/TTAC, Insurify]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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  • Brn Brn on Apr 09, 2021

    Anything wearing Michelin Pilot HX MXM4's.

  • Mike-NB2 Mike-NB2 on Apr 10, 2021

    If the question was cars that are driven badly at any time and under any conditions then my observations would be the Corolla, the Camry, the RAV and the CR-V. In my experience, these vehicles are so poorly driven and so consistent in this that I have changed my defensive driving habits to assume at all times that when I am near one of these vehicles that I treat them with the expectation that they WILL do something stupid. I am often rewarded in seeing my expectations met. More on point, I wonder if the fact that the top three vehicles on the list are expensive has any bearing. I ask this because I live in Atlantic Canada where winter is a reality and there seems to be a correlation between the cost of the vehicle and the use of winter tires. Winter tires are used much less, it seems, as the price of the vehicle rises. I wonder if this is because many people who own (or likely lease) these vehicles are already tapped out for money and that winter 20+ inch winter tires are seriously expensive.

  • ToolGuy This guest was pretty interesting.
  • NJRide So this is an average age of car to be junked now and of course this is a lower end (and now semi-orphaned) product. But street examples seem to still be worth 2500? So are cars getting junked only coming in because of a traumatic repair? If not it seems a lot of cars being junked that would still possibly worth more than scrap.Also Murilee I remember your Taurus article way back what is the king of the junkyard in 2024?
  • AMcA I applaud Toyota for getting away from the TRD performance name. TuRD. This is another great example of "if they'd just thought to preview the name with a 13 year old boy."
  • Jeff Does this really surprise anyone? How about the shoes and the clothes you wear. Anything you can think of that is either directly made in China or has components made in China likely has some slave labor involved. The very smart phone, tablet, and laptop you are using probably has some component in it that is either mined or made by slave labor. Not endorsing slave labor just trying to be real.
  • Jeff Self-driving is still a far ways from being perfected. I would say at the present time if my car took over if I had a bad day I would have a much worse day. Would be better to get an Uber