This Is the Car Americans Are Still Most Likely to Drive Drunk

Drunk driving was an epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s. Harsh penalties cut the number of drunk driving fatalities from 1982 to 2018 by half. The number among drivers under 21 dropped even more. Much of the was due to pressure from groups like MADD (Mothers Against Drink Driving) who had a personal stake in bringing the figures down.

Insurify looked at the car, SUV, and light trucks with the most drunk drivers. They reviewed over 2.7 million insurance applications. There was not adjustment for people who may have lied.

Among 1,000 drivers, 45.3 of Ram 2500 owners were drivers with a DUI citation which put it at the top of the list. The Ram 2500 is a heavy-duty pickup, not entirely suited for a “passenger car” replacement. The RAM 1500 is the best seller across the RAM lineup.

These are new car brands ranked from best to worst. 

Next on the list, was the Chevrolet S-10, another pickup. Among 1,000 drivers, its owners had 35.9 DUI citations.

The list of the top 10 is weighted toward pickups and heavy sport utility vehicles. Insurify offers no reason or conjecture for this, other than its researchers commented: “Among the ten cars on the list, six are pickup trucks. Not all pickup truck owners are among the worst at making the right choice around drinking and driving: America’s most popular pickup truck, the Ford F-Series, is not on the list.”

Foreign cars less likely to be on the list than American models. Domestics make up six of the 10. The vehicles on the list also get lower than average gas mileage.

While the results of the survey are interesting, nothing points to a direction to cut the incidents of drunk driving further. It is mostly a curiosity.

Insurify methodology:

To determine the car models with the highest share of drivers with a prior DUI, the data science team at Insurify referred to their database of over 2.7 million insurance applications. When applying for car insurance, drivers disclose information such as the car they drive in addition to their recent driving history, including moving violations such as DUI citations. Insurify’s data science team calculated the proportion of drivers with one or more prior DUI citations on their record for each car model. From this analysis, they identified the 10 car models with the highest share of DUI citations.

MSRP and mileage data for all 2020/2021 models were collected from the manufacturers’ websites. Data for discontinued models were collected from the Kelley Blue Book for the model’s final production year.

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