Does what we drive affect how we drive?

Quality Planning , an analytics company that works with auto insurers asked the question: Does what we drive affect how we drive?  They ranked vehicles most likely to get a ticket based on the number of moving violations issued for each 100,000 miles driven.  There are a few predictable entries in the top 10 list but the list is not totally comprised of  flashy red sports cars.

But before we begin the list of the worst behaved vehicles, a rundown of the good guys. The top five “cautious vehicles,” that is, the ones with the lowest percentage of violations, are:

5. Buick Lacrosse sedan
4. Kia Spectra sedan
3. Chevrolet C/K 3500/2500
2. Mazda Tribute SUV
1. Buick Ranier SUV

Eight of the top ten cautious vehicles were SUVs or minivans, indicating drivers with passengers (probably of the younger, biological offspring sort) drive more carefully. Click ahead to see the countdown of the worst offenders—or as they are termed in the study, “spirited vehicles,” with commentary from Marty Padgett of and and additional information and insight provided by Quality Planning.

10. Volkswagen GTI Hatchback

Violations*: 178%
Average Age: 40
% Male: 44%

The Volkswagen GTI hatchback is the perennial favorite with younger drivers looking for a sporty, fun German car. “The VW GTI wants you to drive fast,” reasons Padgett. “Why else would they turbocharge it, and give it the most entertaining handling of any Volkswagen, period? Enthusiastic handling attracts enthusiastic owners—and since it’s been in production since the 1980s, there are thousands of GTIs out there accumulating points faster than, say, the entire NHL.”

*Violations/100,000 miles driven, expressed as percentage of average.

9. Mercedes-Benz CLK 63 AMG

Violations: 179%
Average Age: 47
% Male: 44%

No surprise here, say the researchers at Quality Planning — This is Mercedes’ most powerful convertible makes it very tempting to drive in a spirited fashion. “Mercedes CLK63 AMG – A last-generation Mercedes coupe that’s been replaced by the latest E-Class Coupe, the CLK paired sexy styling with huge AMG power, says Padgett. “As with the CLS and SL, these Benz buyers can probably afford a ticket here and there, and aren’t worried about a moving violation or parking infraction when there’s a sale going on at Restoration Hardware.”

8.  Pontiac Grand Prix Sedan

Violations: 182%
Average Age: 40
% Male: 41%

Pontiac’s sporty and inexpensive model attracts price-conscious, aggressive drivers, according to Quality Planning. “The Pontiac Grand Prix doesn’t have the same street cred as some of the other cars on this list,” says Padgett, “but it has an attitude in its looks that probably has parallels in the people who buy them second and third-hand. Supercharged versions were available, too, so it’s not out of the question to rocket up to 120 or 125 mph in one, if it’s still in good shape after all these years.”

7.  Acura Integra Coupe

Violations: 185%
Average Age: 33
% Male: 60%

This sporty import is popular with younger men, who insurers know to be more risky drivers. Padgett points out that the Acura Integra hasn’t even been sold brand-new in America since the mid-1990s.“The fact that the cars still exist, and are still getting so many citations, is a testament to its durability and its spirited performance—and more proof to Honda that it needs to go back to building more cars like this one.”

6.  Mercedes-Benz CLS-63 AMG Sedan

Violations: 264%
Average Age: 46
% Male: 58%

Another big and powerful Benz makes the ticketed list. “The Mercedes-Benz CLS just looks gorgeous at speed, so we should applaud those drivers putting it to its highest, best use,” says Padgett. “The CLS 63 AMG is the strongest performer in the CLS lineup–it’s the equivalent to BMW’s M5 or the Cadillac CTS-V—so it’s no surprise its owners exercise every one of its 507 horsepower whenever they can.”

5. Scion xB Hatchback

Violations: 270%
Average Age: 37
% Male: 40%

The Scion xB is popular with young drivers, who are typically more likely to take risks, drive fast, and get tickets. “Lots of the fanboys who get their thrills with the JDM (Japanese domestic market) look of the first xB are the same guys who tune them up to Fast and Furious levels,” Padgett says.

4. Hummer H2/H3 SUV

Violations: 292%
Average Age: 46
% Male: 73%

The last time CNBC ran a slideshow of most ticketed vehicles , the infamous Hummer topped the list. It’s still in the running this year, because as Quality Planning notes, it’s popular with men who want to make a statement. “The HUMMER H2 simply eclipses other cars on the highway,” Padgett says. “It’s so large, so distinctive, so in your face, it shows up on the ticket pad practically before it passes the instant-on laser gun. Also, HUMMER owners aren’t known for their restraint in…well, in anything.”

3. Scion tC Coupe

Violations: 343%
Average Age: 30
% Male: 39%

The Scion TC is aimed at younger drivers, just like its cousin, the xB, only sportier. “The Scion tC is today’s pony car, and it has a younger buyer than the more expensive Mustangs and Camaros of today. Younger drivers get more tickets for higher speeds. You do the math.”

2. Toyota Camry Solara Coupe

Violations: 349%
Average Age: 50
% Male: 39%

Quality Planning reports that its researchers were surprised to see a Camry at #2, but they attribute its position to the convertible factor, saying a convertible may attract more aggressive drivers. “The Toyota Camry makes the list probably on the strength of its raw numbers,” says Padgett. “It’s been the best-selling car in America for most of the past decade–and surely, lots of them are used every day for high-mileage, high-speed commutes where time is of the essence.”

1. Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Convertible

Violations: 404%
Average Age: 53
% Male: 41%

Leading the pack as the “most ticketed” vehicle is this expensive and very fast convertible. “The Mercedes-Benz SL is the classic real-housewives’ car,” says Marty Padgett. “At this pay grade, who worries about getting tickets, anyway? There’s always a deep pocket to pay them.”

Photo credit:  Ridelust

Via Yahoo