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How much would insurance cost if I drove like a NASCAR driver?

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Car racing has always been a favorite American pastime. Movies — like Talladega Nights, Cars, and The Fast and Furious franchise — demonstrate that Americans love fast cars.

But what would it be like if the action and speed of the race track were actually lived in real life? What would happen if NASCAR drivers’ crash rates happened on an average road? How would that affect their car insurance rates?

We have answers! We calculated how much 24 different NASCAR drivers’ insurance rates would increase based on their crash frequency in the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (now dubbed the NASCAR Monster Cup Series).

If you would like information on the 2017 NASCAR Monster Cup Series, the race schedule can be found here, and the participating drivers are listed here as well.

We narrowed our findings down to the top 10 NASCAR drivers’ rates based on crash frequency.

Looking for auto insurance? You’ve come to the right place! Review your policy and compare three to four policies! Just click here to start today!

Terms

The term “crashes” is more technically called “Crash Frequency” as defined by David Smith, “a statistics and scouting consultant in the NASCAR industry.”

CRASH or Crash Frequency – the number of crashes per race for a single driver. In all instances, a crash is defined as a wreck or spin that causes the driver to lose track position.

For example, a 0.21 Crash Frequency can be understood as a driver crashing 0.21 times per race.

After a crash, a driver can continue driving in a race.

This type of crash is different from a wreck, after which a driver cannot continue driving due to damages and/or injuries.

Methodology
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We used these profiles to calculate insurance quotes. Drivers use various car makes, but Chevrolet and Ford seem to be the most common. The following car makes and models were used to correlate, hypothetically, to a driver’s race car and to calculate the insurance quotes of the driver:

  • Chevrolet drivers – 2017 Corvette Stingray 8-cylinder, two-door coupe
  • Ford drivers – 2017 Mustang GT Coupe 8-cylinder, two-door

Additionally, we used the following factors to calculate insurance quotes for each driver:

  • Premium coverage
  • Driving and insurance since 16
  • 50k to 75k miles per year
  • Driver’s age
  • Driver’s marital status
  • Driver’s home location (zip code)
  • Driver’s gender

The personal information used in the calculations above can be found here.

If you would like to follow along more closely, we compiled the basis of our data from the following sources:

Because the data we have gathered is based only on the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, some drivers may have more crashes in other Cup Series circuits; additionally, the top speeds may vary from track to track.

For example, the top speeds range anywhere from 187.153 mph to 198.452 mph. If you were to drive those speeds on the highway in any state for 1.5 to 4 hours — which is how long any NASCAR race generally lasts — you would certainly wind up in jail.

In addition to jail time, there are serious and potentially fatal dangers that accompany this type of driving.

Depending on the state, the average speed on U.S. highways ranges from 55 mph to 78 mph. With these limits in mind, a car crash that results in at least one fatality still occurs every 16 minutes in the U.S. 

In light of the speed of NASCAR drivers and how long they typically drive for a race, it’s fascinating to consider how much more damage and how many more deaths could occur if they drove like this on highways.

Without a doubt, driving at typical NASCAR speeds and causing a car crash would put any driver in the high-risk category, which dramatically increases auto insurance rates.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 10 NASCAR drivers’ rates based on crash frequency (ranked from 10th to 1st) during the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and find out how these crashes might affect their auto insurance rates in real life.

Top 10 NASCAR Drivers for Car Frequency and Their Insurance Rates

#10 – Matt DiBenedetto

Crash Frequency: 34%
Estimated Number of Crashes: 12
Number of Race Ending Wrecks: 7
Percent of Races Ending in a Wreck: 20%
Top Speed: 187.153 mph

Matt DiBenedetto may be 25 years old, but his auto insurance rates stand a better chance since he is married to Taylor Carswell.

Since he crashed 12 times in 35 total participated races, DiBenedetto received a 34 percent crash frequency. As a result, his auto insurance quotes increased by 483.84 percent. Originally, his auto insurance would have been $3,936 a year, but it ended up being $22,980 a year after the car crashes were factored in.

#9 – Jimmie Johnson

Crash Frequency: 36%
Estimated Number of Crashes: 13
Number of Race Ending Wrecks: 4
Percent of Races Ending in a Wreck: 11.11%
Top Speed: 195.063 mph

Jimmie Johnson is another veteran NASCAR driver at the age of 41 who started his racing career (with motorcycles) as a child at the age of four. He is from California and is married to Chandra Janway.

Johnson was the fourth NASCAR driver on the list to score a 36 percent crash frequency, and his auto insurance increased 458.02 percent — from $1,496 a year to $8,348 a year.

#8 – Paul Menard

Crash Frequency: 36%
Estimated Number of Crashes: 13
Number of Race Ending Wrecks: 5
Percent of Races Ending in a Wreck: 13.89%
Top Speed: 196.044 mph

Paul Menard is 36 years old and married to Jennifer Menard and is originally from Wisconsin.

Menard shares his last name with his sponsors, Menards/Peak Chevrolet because he is the son of Midwestern home improvement tycoon John Menard, Jr. — founder of the Menards chain.

Paul Menard is the third to score 36 percent for crash frequency, with 13 crashes in 36 races, which caused his auto insurance to increase by 372.22 percent — from $1,296 a year to $6,120 a year.

#7 – Joey Logano

Crash Frequency: 36%
Estimated Number of Crashes: 13
Number of Race Ending Wrecks: 3
Percent of Races Ending in a Wreck: 8.33%
Top Speed: 196.751 mph

Joey Logano is 26 years old and married to Brittany Baca. He is from Connecticut, where a person’s car insurance rates can increase anywhere from 11 percent to 15 percent just because of speeding.

If you want to compare all 50 states to see how strict they are when it comes to speeding, check out this website.

Joey Logano had 13 car crashes occur in 36 races, resulting in a 36 percent crash frequency as well. Ultimately, his car insurance quotes increased by 487.50 percent — going from $1,440 a year to $8,460 a year.

#6 – Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

Crash Frequency: 36%
Estimated Number of Crashes: 13
Number of Race Ending Wrecks: 5
Percent of Races Ending in a Wreck: 13.89%
Top Speed: 198.452 mph

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. is the number one driver for the highest speed out of all 24 NASCAR drivers on the list.

He is an unmarried 29-year-old from Mississippi. Mississippi has some of the highest car insurance premiums in the country, falling at number 12 based on average rates for a sample policy.

The average rate in Mississippi came in at $1,584, about $200 higher than the national average.

Stenhouse had 13 crashes occur during 36 races, putting him at 36 percent crash frequency. His auto insurance quotes changed from $2,192 a year to $7,180 a year — a 227.55 percent increase.

#5 – Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Crash Frequency: 39%
Estimated Number of Crashes: 7
Number of Race Ending Wrecks: 4
Percent of Races Ending in a Wreck: 22.22%
Top Speed: 194.473 mph

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is one of the few veteran NASCAR drivers at 42-years-old. Earnhardt is from North Carolina, and he started racing when he was just 17.

He is a third generation NASCAR driver. His maternal grandfather, Robert Gee Sr., was a NASCAR car builder, and his paternal grandfather was NASCAR driver Ralph Earnhardt. In addition, he is the son of NASCAR Hall of Fame member Dale Earnhardt, Sr.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was recently married on New Year’s Eve 2016 to Amy Reimann.

He only participated in 18 races for the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, but he still had seven crashes, which put him at a 39 percent crash frequency.

Earnhardt’s crash frequency would cause his auto insurance quotes to increase by 262.62 percent — from $2,996 a year to $10,864 a year. Ironically, his sponsor is the popular insurance company, Nationwide.

#4 – A.J. Allmendinger

Crash Frequency: 42%
Estimated Number of Crashes: 15
Number of Race Ending Wrecks: 3
Percent of Races Ending in a Wreck: 8.33%
Top Speed: 193.15 mph

A.J. Allmendinger is 35 years old, unmarried, and from California. Despite his age, he drove even faster than his younger fellow Californian NASCAR driver, Kyle Larson. Allmendinger is divorced, and believe it or not, that impacts his auto insurance rates.

He had a 42 percent crash frequency with 15 crashes in 36 races. His auto insurance quote prior to the crashes was $1,752 a year, but this changed to $6,448 a year with his crash statistics factored in — a 268.04 percent increase.

#3 – Ryan Newman

Crash Frequency: 44%
Estimated Number of Crashes: 16
Number of Race Ending Wrecks: 3
Percentage of Races Ending in a Wreck: 8.33%
Top Speed: 195.793 mph

Nicknamed the “Rocket Man,” Ryan Newman shares the same crash frequency as Ryan Blaney. However, Newman is 31 years old and married to Krissie Newman, and both of these factors help him tremendously when it comes to auto insurance rates.

Factoring in his crash statistics, Newman’s insurance quotes only increased 389.87 percent — from $3,868 to $18,948 a year.

His quotes were higher than Kyle Larson’s, but it’s mainly because he is from Indiana, a state that has complicated auto insurance laws.

#2 – Ryan Blaney

Crash Frequency: 44%
Estimated Number of Crashes: 16
Number of Race Ending Wrecks: 2
Percentage of Races Ending in a Wreck: 5.56%
Top Speed: 196.571 mph

Ryan Blaney is another young (23 years old) single driver. He is from Ohio and is the son of NASCAR driver Dave Blaney.

According to a certain study, young male drivers have a higher propensity to take risks than young female drivers and have higher crash rates, especially when they are in the age range of 18 to 25. Ryan Blaney, for instance, had a 44 percent crash frequency with 15.824 crashes out of 36 races.

Based on Blaney’s information, his auto insurance quotes were $2,452 annually before considering his crashes and $18,168 a year if his crashes were taken into account. So, his insurance rates increased by 640.95 percent.

#1 – Kyle Larson

Crash Frequency: 56%
Estimated Number of Crashes: 20
Number of Race Ending Wrecks 3
Percentage of Races Ending in a Wreck 8.33%
Top Speed: 187.153 mph

Kyle Larson had 20 crashes during 36 races, putting him at a 56 percent crash frequency. He is an unmarried 24-year-old from California, and these statistics are unfortunate when it comes to calculating his auto insurance rates.

The highest insurance rates are paid by any male driver under the age of 25. Additionally, statistics show that married drivers have fewer motor vehicle accidents and injuries than single people. Even though Larson is under 25, he would have received a discount if he were married.

If you’re curious about how California’s auto insurance laws and requirements could affect him, click here.

All things considering, his stats would not do him any favors if he had to deal with auto insurance in the real world. Kyle Larson’s insurance quote before crashes would be $3,976 a year. After crashes, it would change to $13,944, which is a 250.70 percent increase.

Important Notes and Highlights
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In the data we collected, there was another driver — Brian Scott — who scored a 56 percent crash frequency, but he is not listed in our top 10 because he has no top speed recorded for the specified track.

One other driver who had 50 percent or higher for crash frequency was Alex Bowman, at five crashes out of 10 total participated races; this puts him right at 50 percent. He also did not make our top 10 list because he has no record of a top speed for the specified track.

Out of all 24 NASCAR drivers, the NASCAR driver with the highest increase for auto insurance quotes was Ryan Blaney at 640.95 percent. The lowest auto insurance quote increase goes to Ty Dillon (not on our list) at 100.11 percent.

While Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was the only one in our Top 10 list to have an insurance company as his sponsor, there are two other NASCAR drivers who also have insurance company sponsors:

  • Kasey Kahne who drives Chevrolet’s Farmers Insurance car
  • Ty Dillon who drives Chevrolet’s GEICO car

Considering the fact that the top recorded speeds on a NASCAR race track for 2016 were anywhere from 187.153 mph to 198.452 mph, if any of these three insurance-sponsored NASCAR drivers dared to drive those speeds on U.S. highways, they would probably lose their sponsors in a hurry!

Regardless of whether these NASCAR racers have become an all-American icon to you, you should never try to mimic their driving behavior.

There’s a reason why they are NASCAR drivers — they tend to keep all their top speeds and crashes on the race track.

So let’s leave speeding — and potential car crashes — to the professionals!

Enter your zip code to compare rates for three to four different policies! Make reviewing your policy a habit every six months!

Complete Rankings: If I drove like a NASCAR driver…

– To view and sort the table by category, click on header columns.

– Click here for the full stats.

For all media inquiries, please email: Joshua Barnes



References:

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