Red Car vs. Non-Red Car: Who gets more tickets?

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Difference between Red Car and Non-Red Car

The automotive world is rife with numerous myths and fallacies, many of which do not have a grain of truth to them. Some urban myths with regard to road and driving practices prevail however, and one that has been the hot subject of contention for a number of years now is whether or not driving a red car will actually increase your risk of getting a speeding ticket. Does this rumor have basis in fact? Let's see!

Origins Of The “Myth”

The "red-car-equals-more-speeding-tickets " myth has been around for a number of years now, with many people believing that red cars somehow seem to attract the ire of traffic enforcers more than cars of any other color. According to the proponents of this "theory", this is largely responsible for the higher incidence of speeding citations for red car owners, which is actually a dubious conclusion in itself.

Possible Reasons/Explanations

Of course a number of reasons have been put forth to explain this “myth”, with the most common one being that red cars are naturally more likely to catch the attention of traffic enforcers, given their vivid color.

Another theory suggests that red cars only look like they are moving fast, and this optical illusion of sorts is enough to catch the eye of the local constabularies.

Still other “theories” point the finger of blame at the driver, suggesting that drivers of red cars are prone to increased breathing and heart rates, and this causes them to subconsciously drive faster.

Drivers of red car will sometimes admit that if they’re driving fast, other cars will move out of the way more easily.  Other drivers seem to notice red cars more often.

Study Results

Of course all of these "theories" are relevant only if the premise is actually true, which begs the question: do red cars and their drivers actually get more speeding ticket than drivers of other color preferences? One study seems unable to support such a claim. The survey conducted by a reporter of the St. Petersburg Times conducted in 1990 showed that although there was an abundance of red cars in the area, they accounted for a disproportionately smaller number of speeding violations, with gray and silver cars accounting for more citations. Now granted that this was only a limited survey, but it does provide a more factual basis than mere conjecture.


Red Car

  • Felt by many to have a higher likelihood of attracting speeding tickets
  • Generally higher rates of citations for moving violations
  • May mislead traffic enforcers into thinking they are traveling much faster than they actually are
  • Accounts for a considerable percentage of the cars on the road
  • Accounts for a negligible number of all speeding tickets

Non-Red Car

  • Doesn't seem to attract as many speeding tickets as red cars
  • White cars account for much more issued speeding tickets on the road, although they comprise much less of the vehicle population
  • Gray cars seem to attract an undue number of speeding tickets especially given their lower number
  • Silver cars also get fewer speeding tickets given their number
Which car is more likely to get a ticket on the highway?
  • Red Car
  • Non-Red Car

Discuss It: comments 2

I try to avoid red car whenever I travel. I heard so many stories about red car. No Red car for me.

  • Guest
  • byron davis wrote on April 2018

"Begging the question" means "avoiding the question" not "raising the question".

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