QOTD: What Cars Are Driven Badly in Unpleasant Conditions?

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai
qotd what cars are driven badly in unpleasant conditions

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]

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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.

  • Jeff S Corey--We know but we still want to give our support to you and let TTAC know that your articles are excellent and better than what the typical articles are.
  • Jeff S A sport utility vehicle or SUV is a car classification that combines elements of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive.There is no commonly agreed-upon definition of an SUV and usage of the term varies between countries. Thus, it is "a loose term that traditionally covers a broad range of vehicles with four-wheel drive." Some definitions claim that an SUV must be built on a light truck chassis; however, broader definitions consider any vehicle with off-road design features to be an SUV. A [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossover_(automobile)]crossover SUV[/url] is often defined as an SUV built with a unibody construction (as with passenger cars), however, the designations are increasingly blurred because of the capabilities of the vehicles, the labelling by marketers, and electrification of new models.The predecessors to SUVs date back to military and low-volume models from the late 1930s, and the four-wheel drive station wagons and carryalls that began to be introduced in 1949. The 1984 [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Cherokee_(XJ)]Jeep Cherokee (XJ)[/url] is considered to be the first SUV in the modern style. Some SUVs produced today use unibody construction; however, in the past, more SUVs used body-on-frame construction. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the popularity of SUVs greatly increased, often at the expense of the popularity of large [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedan_(automobile)]sedans[/url] and station wagons.More recently, smaller SUVs, mid-size, and crossovers have become increasingly popular. SUVs are currently the world's largest automotive segment and accounted for 45.9% of the world's passenger car market in 2021. SUVs have been criticized for a variety of environmental and safety-related reasons. They generally have poorer fuel efficiency and require more resources to manufacture than smaller vehicles, contributing more to climate change and environmental degradation. Between 2010 and 2018 SUVs were the second largest contributor to the global increase in carbon emissions worldwide. Their higher center of gravity increases their risk of rollovers. Their larger mass increases their stopping distance, reduces visibility, and increases damage to other road users in collisions. Their higher front-end profile makes them at least twice as likely to kill pedestrians they hit. Additionally, the psychological sense of security they provide influences drivers to drive less cautiously. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_utility_vehicleWith the above definition of SUV any vehicle that is not a pickup truck if it is enclosed, doesn't have a trunk, and is jacked up with bigger tires. If the green activists adhere to this definition of what an SUV is there will be millions of vehicles with flat tires which include HRVs, Rav4s, CRVs, Ford Escapes, Buick Encores, and many of compact and subcompact vehicles. The green movement is going to have to recruit millions of new followers and will be busy flattening millions of tires in the US and across the globe. Might be easier to protest.
  • Sckid213 I actually do agree that most Nissans are ultimately junk. (I also think many BMWs are also). I was talking challenging the 3 in terms of driving dynamics. Agree all were failures in sales.
  • THX1136 More accurately said, we are seeing exponential growth in the manufacturing capabilities in this market. Unless, of course, all those vehicles are sold with customers waiting until more a produced so they can buy. Indeed, there are certainly more EVs being purchased now than back in 2016. Is demand outstripping manufacturing? Maybe or maybe not. I sincerely don't know which is why I ask.
  • ToolGuy The page here (linked in the writeup) is ridiculously stupid https://www.tyreextinguishers.com/how-to-spot-an-suvLike, seriously stupid, e.g., A) Not sure that particular Volvo is killing the planet as quickly as some other vehicles we might choose. B) A Juke is "huge"??? C) The last picture shows a RAV4 Hybrid?