Married drivers get fewer tickets than common-laws: study
Saira Peesker, CTVNews.ca
Published Sunday, February 12, 2012 6:56AM EST
When asked if they like paying lower insurance rates, most drivers would likely say, "I do!"
But would people get hitched just to get a better insurance deal? The cheapest drivers might, suggests an insurance group that's released a survey comparing traffic ticket rates with marital status.
According to data released this week by InsuranceHotline.com, a portal that helps consumers compare insurance prices, the married people in their client database were cited with fewer traffic tickets than common-law, single or divorced drivers.
About 14 per cent of traffic tickets received by those in the sample set went to married people, even thought they make up 41 per cent of its million-person database, it says.
Divorced people were next, with 18 per cent; followed by singles, with 20.82 per cent; and common law partners, at 21.32 per cent. But despite their similar number of tickets, common-law drivers made up only 6.5 per cent of people in the database, compared to a whopping 46 per cent who were single.
The majority of the sample set was from Ontario, Alberta and the East Coast.
"I suspect it's partly an age thing," said InsuranceHotline.com director Tammy Ezer, who pulled the numbers for the study, adding that married people are possibly safer drivers as they try to set an example for their children.
Ezer said statistics like these do play into the way insurance providers set their rates, so marriage status can have an effect on the rates offered to a particular driver. She admits she mainly conducts these studies to try to make insurance seem interesting, but jokes that it's hard to tell what lengths people will go to in order to save money.
"I think there's probably a pretty frugal guy who's been sitting on the fence and will use this as a push to pop the question," she said Thursday.
But while ticket rates vary across the different categories, there was one thing everyone had in common: speeding. It was the most common offence for every category of driver in the study.
The study's findings couldn't be corroborated by Toronto police, who say they don't record marital status data for most traffic offences.
Relationship expert Cynthia Loyst says she worries about discrimination against common-law drivers, many of whom live very similar lives to those who are married.
"While this study may reveal some truths about how our marital status impacts our driving, it begs the question, ‘So what?" said Loyst, who also co-hosts the TV show InnerSPACE.
"I don't believe that just because someone's common-law status makes him or her a more risky driver, that (they are) going to decide to get legally hitched in the hopes it will fix their driving woes.