Unhaggle | 10 Worst Driving Stereotypes and Why They Are True/False

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Written and researched by Elliot Chan for Unhaggle.com| May 26, 2014 |

Driving is not simply about getting from one place to another, it is a public display of your identity. Because of that—and human’s unfortunate obsession with categorizing people—stereotypes emerge. It’s true, at every intersection, on every road and at every parking lot, stereotyping happens.

But which ones are based on truths and which ones are just our own prejudices? Which ones are valid and which are our ignorant negativity? Are Jeep drivers that much different than Mazda drivers? Surely quality driving is not only skin-deep. 

Women are worse drivers than men

True. Hate to say it, but there is actually some validity to this stereotype. According to a studyconducted by the University of Michigan, men and women get into approximately the same amount of accidents in six scenarios that resulted in a crash. But where the scale is tipped is that men drive 20% more often than women. And crashes occurring between women and women are more frequent in a sample of 6.5 million crashes.

Ethnicity affects quality driving

False. Ethnicity and race has no implication on how one drives.

A common assumption is that people who are born in other countries with different traffic cultures are unable to adapt to the North American standards and therefore cause accidents. If that is the case, it is still the person who is unable to or has declined to learn the culture, and he or she does not represent the collective.

On the road, we may see one Asian driver in an accident, but we don’t notice all the other ones driving safely. It becomes a clear memory and one that can be regurgitated in moments of high intensity while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Traffic Safety Report published in 2009, which you can view here, there is no clear determining factor between ethnicity, race and traffic collisions.

Older drivers are even worse

True. In Canada, seniors of a certain age will have to reapply for their driver’s licence, take a vision test, and undergo a driving examination. It’s been proven that elderly drivers are more likely to be involved in right-of-way accidents, where it involves yielding to another vehicle. Researchers have found that mental, visual or physical impairments play a large role in a driver’s ability to concentrate. As those attributes deteriorate, so does the quality of driving.

Young drivers are negligent

According to a 2002 Statistics Canada report, 19-24 year olds are involved in the highest rate of impaired driving, while MADD Canada reports show that automotive accidents cause the largest percentage of deaths in Canadians aged 15-25. Young drivers tend to feel invincible upon getting their new car, but the fact is that they are inexperienced—unable to make key judgement calls. The high percentage of speeding and driving under the influence amongst young drivers continue to warrant concerns.

Pickup truck drivers are rude on the road

Depends. Yes, big pickup trucks are annoying, especially to those with small compact cars—we can’t understand why they drove such a massive beast to the shopping mall and took up two parking spaces—but there they are. We mutter “Douche” under our breath and move on. But having a vehicle of a certain type does not make you any more aggressive of a driver. While it’s true that the driver is the one who makes a choice to buy a truck and act as an alpha on the road, the rule doesn’t always apply. And for those of you with little cars, know this: pickup trucks are quite expensive to insure. It’s not uncommon for its insurance price to match that of a luxury vehicle. Gee, I wonder why. Then again, the driver might be totally cool and will help you move next time.

Red cars get into more accidents

False. Black, silver and grey cars actually have a higher risk of being in an accident, because of their inability to be seen through cluttered streets and low lighting situations. Red cars lurk around the middle ground in regards to being accident-prone. There is a lot of research out there, but nothing conclusive yet on how colour relates to accidents. Even insurance companies will admit that they don’t necessary charge more for vehicles in red. It is all just a myth.

Expensive cars get more speeding tickets

True. Studies done by Quality Planning, a company based in San Francisco has polled numbers and found that the car most likely to be ticketed was the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, a pretty fancy piece of machinery that gets noticed.

With four times the likelihood of being ticketed, those driving a two-door convertible are often those who can afford the fine. And they know it too, because 63% of luxury drivers believe they will get a speeding ticket if they are over the speed limit by 10 miles/hour. They have a right to be paranoid.

Weed smokers are safer drivers

Debatable—but leaning more towards false. In an earlier post, we discussed the possibility that those who consume cannabis before driving may actually be more cautious and alert upon the roads. While no firm conclusion can be offered, it seems as though the public and authorities are far from condoning the act and still very much consider it DUI if caught. Sure, you might not be drunk, but your motor skills are still hindered, so technically, you can’t be considered “safer.”

Only snobs drive hybrid and electric cars

False. Hating on hybrid and electric car drivers is the most perplexing phenomenon on the roads today. Many drivers of standard vehicles are feeling victimized in public parking places where spots usually reserved for the mass are now exclusive for hybrids and electrics. They would argue: Should a vegetarian get a better seat in the restaurant, because they are eating healthier? Good point, but maybe it should encourage people to go green.

An episode of South Park famously mocked the smugness of hybrid drivers, as they cruise on by feeling high and mighty. I believe that eco-friendliness is something that should be commended, but not worshiped. I would rather have a snobby hybrid on the road than another reckless sports car enthusiast. Maybe I’m already green with envy.

Cars are the best way to get over a midlife crisis

False. As we approach that pinnacle point in our life and ride the plateau into retirement, we often feel compelled to splurge. The cliché: a forty year-old businessman going against his wife’s wishes and buying a fancy vehicle. Yes, that sounds tantalizing and rejuvenating, but a car remains a materialistic possession. The initial feeling of joy will evaporate, as fees and maintenance builds up. It becomes a responsibility or a liability.

But if you do feel the need to purchase a swanky vehicle, take your friends and family on a trip. That is where the memory happens.

Unhaggle | How to Buy a New Car That Would Suit Your Daily Needs

Posted by  | February 05, 2014 |
Ghostwritten by Elliot Chan. Formerly published by Unhaggle.com 
carlifestyleLike a new sweater or a new haircut, a new car is no different – It has to suit you and you alone. On one hand, a vehicle is a necessity, and on the other hand, a vehicle is fashion. It’s what people see you arriving and leaving in, so it is important that it represents you in the right way. But hey, I get it – cars are not something everyone can splurge on. We must be practical. So, how can we find the balance between budget and lifestyle to get us going in the direction we want? Simple. Just follow our guide and you’ll get there!

Figure Out Your Lifestyle

As trends show, certain types of lifestyles adhere to certain types of vehicles, and although you might want to turn heads with the most unique set of wheels on the block, you also should consider sticking with what’s in style.

Different types of people use their vehicles for different reasons. If you have a family, you might want to take your partner’s needs into consideration and figure out whether your children will be driving the new car any time soon.

If you have a large family of five to seven people, you will probably need an accommodating vehicle – like a minivan or an SUV. But if you have a smaller family with a teenager preparing for their first driving lesson, you might consider finding an adaptable vehicle that focuses on safety instead.Honda, Toyota and Subaru have consistently achieved accolades for their safety features and compatibility.

But if you haven’t settled down yet, and sharing a vehicle is not priority, you might want to consider other options, depending on your work, play and eco-friendly attitude. Most people simply need something ideal for commuting. That means a car must have good gas mileage, while offering comfort and, above all else, reliability, because god knows you don’t want to be late for another business meeting.

Then again, you might have an adventurous mindset, so a simple but reliable hatchback might not do it for you. If you want to find that secluded campsite or just take the road less traveled, take some time to decide if a truck or an SUV will in fact be worth it – even though they often come with extra expenses.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have the eco-friendly people who want to reduce carbon footprint, but have a lifestyle where transit is not possible. Hybrids, electric and diesel cars may all be a greener option, if staying eco-friendly is your goal.

Prepare a Budget

As a car buyer, you shouldn’t set the bar too high when it comes to selecting a new car. Sure, we all want the luxury and sports cars, but remember that the MSRP is not all you have to consider. There are also other expenses to take into account such as maintenance and insurance fees, which are not cheap.

Don’t be naive when it comes to budgetary constraints, because it can end up biting you big time in the long run. Understand your financial status, your salary, your living situation (social security and tax) and your bills. Some experts suggest that you should only buy a car if you can afford it with cash or if it costs 20% of your annual income.

Obviously paying in cash is not always possible – not in this economy – and that 20% suggestion is often overruled. But that doesn’t mean you still can’t make the best decision for yourself. Monthly payments may seem like a financially responsible choice, but be warned that a slight increase in payment can really offset your budget. Leasing might also be an option for those who are okay with owning a new car every few years, while losing equity.

Compile a List of Prospective Cars

You probably have the car you want in mind already. Yes, you see it occasionally as you await the next bus or wave down a cab. So, why not mark it down and see where the cost lands on your budgetary range. Acknowledge your lifestyle as well and understand whether that vehicle is actually right for you.

Let’s say you have set your eyes on the 2014 Lexus RX 450h (average MSRP $47,000), but it’s slightly over your budget. As such, you might want to take one notch down on the price range and look at a vehicle such as the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse (average MSRP $30,000). Both are mid-size SUVs with high user ratings, but they have very different prices. How does that Rolling Stones song go? “You can’t always get what you want…” In other words, know your limits and never exceed them!

Start Haggling

Okay, so you’re ready to take to the dealership. You already know which car is right for you and you are going to get it – no matter what!

Hold it there – because you can still save yourself a bit more if you handle the purchasing scenario appropriately. Don’t just walk in there and drop the suitcase full of money. Be tactful, do your research and review how much your vehicle will cost, not just the MSRP, but also the invoice price (the price the dealership has actually paid for the vehicle). That should be the price where you start negotiating from, and you can find the information through sites such as Unhaggle.com.

Also, keep in mind what features you want beforehand and be wary of incentives. Buying a car shouldn’t be an arm wrestle, and as long as you do it with class, you’ll ride out in the vehicle that suits your style best.