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If you have been driving for some time, then you have probably come across a Nissan Altima – or five – that ends up tailgating you far too close or even cutting you off. Their bumpers were probably messed up and the taillights were likely out. If you have encountered this, you’re not alone. There are many reports online about many Nissan Altima drivers behaving poorly while on the road. But is there something about the car that makes them drive so terribly?

Do Nissan Altima drivers have a death wish?

A crashed Nissan Altima gets towed away.
A crashed Nissan Altima gets towed away. | Samuel Corum/Getty Images

No. Well, maybe some do. In reality, Nissan Altima drivers come from all walks of life and there’s really no telling why some of them drive like they do. There’s really only speculation as to why many Altima drivers in the wild like to blast their sound systems at the maximum volume and go 80 mph in a 40 zone. Stef Shrader, the social media editor for The Drive, reportedly owned a 2002 Nissan Altima and noted that she had to “floor it all the time to get it to wake up” citing that its automatic transmission was unresponsive.

According to a story posted in Mel Magazine, Shrader speculated that the aggressive driving from Altima owners “could be a result of many young people driving them.” She also noted, “Either that or they also hate the car so much that they want to get to their destination as soon as possible and get out of the car – maybe after saying a short prayer that someone will total it.”

The CVT could be to blame for many Altima drivers’ hasty driving habits. The folks at Tire Meets Road speculate that the CVT’s infinite gear ratios and responsive nature off the line and during overtaking situations could be to blame. Perhaps, the Altima driver “feels” that the car is more responsive and therefore feels the need to drive faster. You know, kind of like BMW and Tesla drivers.

Drivers having poor credit could also be to blame

If you check out the subreddit “Nissan Drivers” on Reddit, then you’ll find many Redditors chiming in that poor credit could be to blame. More specifically, used Nissan Altimas can be found for cheap, even in today’s market, so many buyers with poor credit – and possibly poor driving records – tend to snatch them up. That might sound discriminatory, but consider the fact that the insurance industry correlates bad driving with poor credit.

According to Credit Mashup, “The insurance industry insists there is a correlation between poor credit scores and risky drivers. The insurance industry points out numerous research that says credit scores can accurately predict accident potential even though the reasons remain less than clear.”

Could the Nissan Altima’s price have something to do with it?


How Far Can You Take A Nissan Altima?

Possibly. A nationwide search on Autotrader reveals that early-2000s Nissan Altimas are selling for around $5,000 to $7,000. With that in mind, there’s a possibility that Altima drivers tend to drive erratically and treat their cars poorly due to the car’s low price and low value. Again, it’s all speculation since there’s no rhyme or reason between the way one driver drives versus another – no matter what kind of car they are in.

Ultimately, the Nissan Altima is not a bad car. It’s just that dealerships sell them at such an affordable price that buyers with poor credit and poor driving behaviors buy them more than other brands. Also, that CVT probably doesn’t help either.