Traffic Court Does Not Reduce Number of Crashes Later On, Says Study
July 15th, 2011|
July 15, 2011
Those who opt to fight a traffic ticket in court rather than mailing in their fine are more likely to become involved in a car accident later on, according to a new study.
“The researchers don’t think appearing in traffic court actually causes people to crash their cars,” notes a Reuters Health article. “Instead, they say drivers who chose this approach tended to have high-risk characteristics in the first place. And in general, those who fought their speeding tickets in court had longer histories of violations and crashes.”
The study comes from the University of Maryland and the National Transportation Safety Board, which looked at 30,000 drivers who had been ticketed for speeding in the state of Maryland. Thirteen thousand of these drivers decided to just pay their ticket by mail, while the others attended traffic court. Those that went to court were found to be 25 percent more likely to experience a car accident in the next three years.
The study’s lead author, Jingyi Li, says he thinks that people who chose traffic court were likely younger, worse drivers anyway.
The study’s surprise result? Those who attended traffic court were less likely to be cited for speeding later on, despite their higher risk for a car crash.