Seeing Red: Solving the Red Car Riddle

Solving the Red Car RiddleAlmost everyone who's ever driven is familiar with the theory that you're more likely to get caught speeding - and given a ticket - if you're driving a red car. You probably even have a friend who knows a guy who can back this up. But is it true?

According to popular urban legend debunker, this myth has absolutely no truth to it. As well, there isn't a single auto insurance company, state highway patrol or police department that will verify any connection between red cars and an increased tendency toward speeding or crashing.

If there's no connection with <em>how</em> you drive, then, what about the cost of your insurance? Do the drivers of red cars get charged more for their car insurance coverage?

Again, the answer is no. In fact, unless your auto insurer asks for a photograph of your car, there's very little likelihood that anyone except your actual agent knows what color it is. VINs (vehicle identification numbers) provide a lot of information, but color isn't part of it.

Still, there are some details about your car that will affect how much you pay in insurance. These include the age, make and model of the vehicle, the number of axels it has, and the size of the engine. Insurers also look at data gathered from other peoples' accident claims to see how specific makes and models stack up with regard to crash survival and average cost of repairs.

The information from prior claims is actually one of the reasons why it often costs more to insure very rare or very special cars: there simply isn't enough data to accurately assess risk.

If the color of your car doesn't affect tickets or insurance, then, where did the myth come from? No one is absolutely certain, but a 2008 article in <em>CAA Magazine</em>, the publication from the Canadian Automobile Association suggests that the color of your car does reflect your personality. Since red cars are often driven by daring and vivacious people with an affinity for fast driving and reckless behavior, this may have caused the Red Car Riddle.

So, what does that mean to you? If you're drawn to a racy red car, go ahead and buy it, but be sure you obey all the traffic laws, use your seatbelt and keep a close watch on your speedometer.