Students, Doctors and Attorneys Top Speeding, Accident List

January 21, 2004

A recent study analyzing the driving records of more than 1 million Americans revealed students had far and away the most reported traffic accidents and speeding citations of any occupation. According to the Insurance Council of Texas, medical doctors, attorneys, architects and real estate brokers were right behind students as most likely to be involved in a traffic accident.

The study was conducted by the Quality Planning Corporation, which assists insurers with statistical analysis in rating drivers for auto insurance. The data was obtained from the driving records of policyholders in every state over a 22-month period in 2001 and 2002.

Richard Mayer, chairman of the board of directors of the Insurance Council of Texas and an executive with the Republic Insurance Group in Dallas, said the study has its surprises.

“Insurers have known for years that students or drivers aged 16 to 21, experience the worst driving records of any age group,” Mayer said. “What was surprising was the fact that medical doctors were ranked number two on the list of drivers most likely to have a traffic mishap.”

Dr. Daniel Finnegan, president of the Quality Planning Corporation, said the work habits of medical doctors most likely has an affect on their driving performance. “Physicians are known for working long hours and we believe that fatigue plays a major role in their accident records,” Finnegan said.

Finnegan said the results of other occupations high on the list could have been expected. “Attorneys typically demonstrate aggressive behavior, architects may pay more attention to buildings and landscapes than roadways and real estate brokers spend much of their work day on the road,” Finnegan said.

The professions least likely to have accidents according to the study were farmers, firemen, pilots and politicians.

“I’m somewhat skeptical of our data on politicians, but farmers usually travel on less-traveled roadways, while pilots and firemen tend to use caution and pay more attention behind the wheel than others,” Finnegan said.

The top five occupations cited for speeding violations were students, enlisted military, manual laborers, politicians and architects. The least ticketed occupations were homemakers, librarians and law enforcement.

Dr. Finnegan said put your self in the shoes of an officer who issues speeding citations. “If they were traveling the same speed, who would most likely receive a speeding ticket, the young man in the sports car or the middle-aged woman in her station wagon?” Finnegan said.

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