The conventional wisdom says that red cars are ticket magnets, but is there any real truth to that urban myth?
Well, actually, yes.
Here’s what the statistics say
Technically, white cars get more tickets than red ones. However, there are more white vehicles on the road than any other color. White cars can be a little cheaper to purchase, and they also afford better visibility on dark or rural roads. Plus, they reflect light and heat quite well — which makes them very popular in hot or sunny climates.
Once the figures are adjusted for the prevalence of each color, red vehicles definitely seem to attract an undue amount of attention from law enforcement on the road.
Here’s why it happens
There are actually several factors in play that likely push this phenomenon:
- Red is easy to see. Against a gray road and green landscape, a red vehicle sticks out. They draw the eye — including the gaze of your local highway patrol officer.
- Red engages the brain. Red is associated with passion, energy and intensity. Patrol officers may subconsciously respond to the emotional triggers when a red car goes by and look a little closer at its speed.
- Red has cultural connections to risky behavior. It’s a color for extroverts. The people who choose red cars may simply be more inclined to speed.
Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter why red cars tend to be ticket magnets. It’s more important for those who own red cars to remember that they need to be a little circumspect about their behavior on the road if they hope to avoid speeding tickets or other issues.
If you do end up with a speeding ticket here in New York, don’t pay it until you learn more about your legal options for a defense. Paying the ticket means committing to long-term consequences that you may be able to avoid.