Aaron Turpen: Drive A Ram Truck Or Tesla? Data Says You’re A Bad Driver

Automotive writer Aaron Turpen writes, “The most incident-prone (accidents, DUI, citations) in Wyoming is ... Saturn. Only in Wyoming would a brand that hasn’t produced a vehicle in more than a decade be one of the highest on any list.”

Aaron Turpen

January 06, 20243 min read

Worst Brand of Vehicle for Accidents
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Using data from consumer disclosures and insurance claims across the U.S., Lending Tree has released its annual “worst drivers” list. This includes national data and state-by-state data. You might be surprised at who tops the list.

I was surprised at the brand of vehicles that topped the Wyoming list for 2023, but not by the national averages. Statistically, Ram truck, Subaru, and Tesla are basically neck-and-neck for worst drivers nationally by traffic incidents. Breaking them down, though, it just gets more obvious.

Ram drivers are more likely to have a traffic incident (meaning a wreck, DUI, or citation) across the country. The brand also tops the worst drivers list for 23 of the 50 states. So, if you drive a Ram pickup, you’re very likely to be a serious annoyance on the road.

Next on the list was Tesla. Not surprising at all. Tesla’s have the highest accident rate of all the 30 brands listed and is one of three (Ram and Subaru being the others) that was in the over 20 per 1,000 drivers category — 23.54 to be exact, versus 22.76 (Ram) and 20.9 (Subaru). Anyone who has been around a Tesla driver probably knows this is obvious.

Subaru, meanwhile, lands just behind Ram and Tesla for most incidents per 1,000. Close enough to just about be even. This also fits my personal experience, so I feel pretty vindicated.

And if you’re curious, the brand with the highest drunk driving rate in the U.S. is … BMW. It came in at twice the rate of the next-highest brand, Ram truck, at 3.13 per 1,000 vs. 1.72. Kia, Mercury, Mitsubishi, and Volvo drivers came in lowest for DUI rates, all under 1 per 1,000.

The safest brands nationally? All defunct ones, it turns out. If you drive a Pontiac, a Mercury or a Saturn, you’re likely amongst the safest drivers on the road (everywhere but here) with fewer than 10 accidents per 1,000 drivers and less than 17 incidents per 1,000 drivers.

But what about Wyoming, you say? Well, fear not. There are some numbers here too. The most incident-prone (accidents, DUI, citations) in Wyoming is ... [insert drum roll] Saturn.

Wait, Saturn? Yes, Saturn.

Only in Wyoming would a brand that hasn’t produced a vehicle in more than a decade be one of the highest on any list. Apparently, the Saturn brand is the most commonly collected vehicle among those who get in trouble on the road — almost 50 per 1,000 drivers here. Wow.

Wyoming drivers should be proud. The accident rate for Saturns here bucks the national trend completely, as it’s listed as one of the safest brands on the road everywhere else.

I hereby suggest that every Saturn owner in the state of Wyoming be given three times their Saturns’ trade-in value to buy a vehicle of any other brand of their choosing. And that dealers be required to export said trade-ins to another state.

Governor Gordon can take it out of the slush fund as an emergency public health measure.

Then state troopers and local police can begin profiling BMW, Ram and Tesla drivers exclusively, which will save a lot of money as they won’t be responding to all those Saturn incidents anymore.

Man, I should run for office. I’m a policy genius.

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Aaron Turpen