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Study shows Tesla owners have most car accidents, but Ram has the worst drivers

In brief: If you drive a Tesla, you’re statistically more likely to be involved in a car accident than drivers of any other car brand, according to new research. In a study that analyzed 30 car brands, it was found that Tesla drivers had 23.54 accidents per thousand drivers. But they weren’t the “worst” of the bunch.

LendingTree’s study, based on tens of millions of insurance quotes between November 2022 and November 2023, placed Tesla drivers at the top of the most-accident-prone list. Only three brands had more than 20 accidents per 1,000 drivers: Tesla (23.54), Ram (22.76), and Subaru (20.90).

While Tesla drivers were involved in the most accidents, Ram had the worst drivers overall. They were involved in 32.9 incidents (accidents, DUIs, speeding, and citations) per 1,000 drivers, ahead of Tesla (31.13) and Subaru (30.09).

Ram drivers were the worst in 23 states, with Massachusetts seeing the highest number of incidents (64.44) per 1,000 drivers. Tesla drivers had the most incidents in 11 states: Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

At the other end of the table, Mercury was found to have the best drivers, racking up 15.82 incidents per 1,000 drivers nationally. It was followed by Pontiac (16.24) and Saturn (16.84).

Another finding from the study is that BMW drivers have the highest DUI rate: 3.13 DUIs per 1,000 drivers. That’s nearly twice as many as second-place Ram (1.72). Meanwhile, Mitsubishi (0.89), Volvo (0.92), and Mercury and Kia drivers (both 0.93) had the lowest DUI rates. Just nine of the 30 brands analyzed had DUI rates below 1.00 among their drivers.

The study doesn’t include rentals or examine the cause of vehicle crashes. “It’s hard to nail down why certain brands may have higher accident rates than others. However, there are indications that certain types of vehicles attract riskier drivers than others,” the study states.

It would be interesting to find out what percentage of Tesla accidents involved the company’s Autopilot system. Earlier this month, Tesla and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a recall of every vehicle the company has sold in the US, impacting two million cars. It doesn’t require owners to take their vehicles back to the shop, as users will receive an over-the-air update to fix the problem.

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