Believers Get Fewer Traffic Tickets

With all the crises occurring around the world right now, you might think God has bigger things on his plate than getting you out of speeding tickets. Today, we will demonstrate otherwise.

The General Social Survey is a National Science Foundation project that asks people all sorts of interesting questions about their social attitudes, family structure, sex lives, and more. We had a good time visualizing the sex data last week, but for today we'll stick to the much more socially acceptable topic of religion (and traffic tickets).

The data, culled from nearly 11,000 respondents is incontrovertible. Believers get fewer traffic tickets. But you've got to fully believe that the Bible is the actual literal word of God – people who think the Bible is merely the inspired word of God get just as many tickets as people who think it's no more than an ancient book of fables and legends.

Astute readers will complain that I am once again confusing causation and correlation. (See Losing Your Job Might Help Your Sex Life for an example of how much fun that can be.) They might argue that perhaps this correlation is caused by something entirely different, such as strongly religious people living in more rural areas, or driving less, or simply having personalities to begin with that are less prone to risky driving behaviors.

But they're missing the point. People shouldn't be changing their religious beliefs to get out of traffic tickets -- they should be considering a sex change. Look how many fewer tickets women get!

Strongly religious women are of course the biggest winners, with two thirds of them reporting that they have never had a traffic ticket in their life.

Benjamin Franklin once said, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Perhaps he enjoys getting us out of traffic tickets as well. Download the packaged workbook to explore the data for yourself.

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