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Mercedes Convertible Drivers Most Prone to Tickets

Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Drivers of Mercedes-Benz SL-Class convertibles are the most likely to receive traffic tickets and are cited about four times as often as the average U.S. motorist, according to Verisk Analytics Inc.

Mercedes had three car models among the 10 most-cited per mile driven, said Jersey City, New Jersey-based Verisk, a supplier of data to insurers. Drivers of the Toyota Camry-Solara and Scion tC had the second- and third-highest violation rates, Verisk said yesterday in a statement on its website.

The cars on the most-ticketed list tend to attract either drivers looking for speed or younger, less-experienced motorists, Verisk said. Vehicles built to transport more people were among the least cited, with eight sport-utility vehicles and minivans among the 10 with the fewest violations. The Rainier, an SUV from General Motors Co.’s Buick, had the lowest rate of tickets.

“Carrying passengers, and possibly younger passengers in car seats, makes a noticeable difference in how one drives,” Verisk said. “SUVs and hatchbacks showed lower violations on average than traditional two- and four-door vehicles.”

Mercedes, a unit of Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler AG, sold more cars than the Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus in the U.S. in September, almost overtaking the Japanese brand to become the U.S. luxury car leader. The SL-Class was “born to win races,” according to a brochure on the carmaker’s website.

“These are fun-to-drive cars, and sometimes people have a little too much fun enjoying them,” said Robert Moran, a spokesman for Mercedes in the U.S.

Verisk’s Quality Planning unit analyzed records on traffic violations for 12 months through February. U.S. car insurers including No. 1 State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., Allstate Corp. and Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s Geico Corp. weigh actuarial data in setting rates for policyholders.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Doss in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut in New York at

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