Study: Enlisted military second onlyto students in speeding violations
ARLINGTON, Va. — Some enlisted military drivers have the proverbial lead foot, according to one national study, but their apparent need for speed won’t mean a hike in insurance rates.
A recent study done by Quality Planning Corporation, a company hired by the insurance industry to analyze data such as driving patterns or uncover fraudulent claims, looked into the occupations of more than 1 million drivers in the nation. The results show that enlisted military drivers were the second leading offenders of speeding violations after students, and ranked sixth in the number of accidents.
Military officers were 13th on the 40-occupation list for accidents and 15th for speeding violations.
However, the results from that one study will have no impact on the way two leading insurance providers for military drivers and their families set their rates, officials said.
“That survey would have no bearing on USAA members’ automobile insurance rates,” said Paul Berry, a spokesman for USAA. “The reason: We use our own experiences with each member when it comes to their driving records.” USAA has 5 million customers worldwide who are active duty, National Guard and Reserve enlisted personnel, officers and officer candidates, and their dependents.
A GEICO spokeswoman said the same.
“Rates won’t change, not based on that study,” said Christine Tasher, the public relations director. “That’s all done here through our own underwriting and analysis of actual losses of our own customers, not the general public.” Not all of GEICO’s 5.3 million customers are military personnel.
Over an 18-month period ending in December 2002, QPC looked at 1 million records of data from all over the United States to analyze the accident and traffic violation of drivers and their occupations, said Tim Cox, with Zing Public Relations, a firm hired to release QPC’s study results. No data was collected on overseas drivers.
“Quality Planning works with insurance companies to help them better understand the composition of the people they’re insuring,” he said.
Students top the charts as drivers with the highest accident rate and number of speeding tickets. Medical doctors, lawyers, architects and real estate agents round out the top five occupations most likely to be involved in an accident, Cox said. Homemakers, politicians, pilots, firemen and farmers are the bottom of the list, and the analysis indicates that students are 3.5 times more likely to be involved in an accident than farmers, Cox said.
Insurance companies don’t determine if a 16-year-old high school dropout makes a better driver than a 36-year-old mother and real estate agent, Berry said. Instead, rates are based on a history of the number of claims filed by certain age groups, driving patters and crime rates in geographical areas, type of vehicles driven, and drivers’ credit history, he cited as examples.
And what QPC does not do in its research is determine why certain demographics are more or less prone, Cox said.
“It’s hard to draw conclusions from the data,” he said. “For example, the professions of doctor and lawyer seem to be scoring high on speeding. For some people, it might indicate they tend to be arrogant or self-important or risk takers. The medical associations will say they are rather tired, fatigued and inattentive.
“It’s hard to know what’s going on here and that’s frustrating. At a minimum, it makes for interesting cocktail conversation,” he joked.