Infiniti Drivers Have Highest Rates of Speeding, Alcohol-Related Fatal Crashes: Study

NHTSA data also shows that Pontiac drivers led the category of fatal crashes involving marijuana and other hard drugs.

Car Makers Reveal New Models At N. American International Auto Show In Detroit
Getty Images—2016 Getty Images

Infiniti Cars Are Involved in More Speed and Alcohol-Related Fatal Crashes Than Other Brands: Study

Infiniti drivers have the highest rates of speeding or alcohol-related fatal crashes in the United States compared to all other brands, according to a new study of NHTSA data.

The study claims to have used data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) to analyze which brands correlated with irresponsible behavior behind the wheel, given sample sizes of 250 or more fatal accidents in 2017. It also classified automakers along the lines of "luxury" and "nonluxury," as well as "foreign" and "domestic" for further insight into reckless driving.

Results of the analysis show that 33 percent fatal accidents involving an Infiniti—nearly one in three—involved speeding, which is the highest of any brand, and almost eight percent above the national average of 25.1 percent. At the opposite end of the spectrum was Kia, whose fatal accidents involve speeding only 22 percent of the time. Categorically, drivers of either foreign or luxury brands were found to be more likely to rush to their demise than drivers of domestic or economy makes.

Topping the alcohol-related fatal accidents chart, again, was Infiniti at 25.1 percent (against a national average of 18.1 percent). Pontiac—which reappeared atop other categories—came a narrow second at 23.6 percent. Contrary to the speed-related fatalities trend mentioned above, domestic and economy cars were found to have a higher rate of drunk driving-related deaths than foreign or luxury cars.

Rates of fatal hit-and-runs, again, were dominated by Infiniti at 4.3 percent, but Mercedes-Benz came a narrow second at 4.2 percent, against a national average of 2.7. Luxury car drivers were found to be more likely to attempt to flee the scene of a fatal accident, doing so 3.3 percent of the time versus 2.6 percent for economy car drivers.

Pontiac took the lead for fatal crashes involving marijuana, its 6.7 percent more than double the US average of 3.3 percent (the usual culprit Infiniti didn't even register in the top five). The shuttered GM marque also tops the charts for deaths related to hard drugs, at 15.4 percent, against a nationwide 10.6 percent.

Unsurprisingly, Volvo footed the lists of marijuana- and alcohol-related deaths, with less than half the rate of fatal drunk-driving crashes than second-lowest Lincoln. Volvo also recorded a marginally higher rate of hard drug-related casualties than it did for alcohol, but that isn't telling of its drivers, which still ranked second-lowest in that category. Buick ranked at the opposite end; second-highest in the drug-related fatality category, despite coming in second-lowest on speed-related crashes (if not spider-related crashes).

Full results for the study can be found here, along with insights on the forces at work that contribute to each brand's position in the study.