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The Top Speeding Ticket Excuses

From running late to bringing home hot food, these are the most common traffic ticket excuses.

speeding ticket excuses

Have you ever been pulled over for speeding? What excuse did you give to try to get out of it? Whatever it was, you’re probably not alone. Recently, 1,000 drivers were surveyed to discover the most common speeding ticket excuses. Here’s what they found.

Top Speeding Ticket Excuses

According to a recent survey by, these are the most common excuses respondents gave for trying to avoid a speeding ticket.

  • 32% claim they didn’t realize they were speeding.
  • 20% say they are late for work.
  • 20% tell police there is a medical emergency.
  • 17% offer that they have to use the bathroom.
  • 17% say they didn’t see a speed limit sign.
  • 16% remark that they were going as fast as everyone else.
  • 13% blame being late to pick up or drop off a child.
  • 12% remarked that they were late for a doctor’s appointment.
  • 10% said they were late for a court appointment.

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Men Versus Women

When it comes to safe driving habits, it appears women reign supreme. The study found that 29% of drivers had never been pulled over for speeding, including 21% of male respondents and 37% of female drivers.

The most common excuse for speeding for both men and women was that they did not realize they were speeding. However, this excuse was successful in avoiding a ticket 39% of the time for women and just 27% for men.

speeding ticket excuses

Speeding Habits

According to the survey, 88% of drivers acknowledge exceeding the speed limit by as much as 15 mph, while 10% admit to driving 16 to 29 mph over the speed limit. Another 3% of people admit driving more than 30 mph over the limit.

Other speeding habits include:

  • 36% said they speed, but it’s rare.
  • 37% said they almost always speed but only between 5 and 10 mph over the limit.
  • 56% said it’s OK to speed on the highway.
  • 4% said they’re OK with speeding on residential streets.

So, what is the reason behind speeding? Drivers had various explanations: 48% said everyone else does it, 34% said to arrive on time, 20% said speed limits are generally too low and 18% claimed it’s safe to speed as long as it’s less than 20 mph above the speed limit.

Everyone hopes to just get a warning from the police rather than a ticket. If the survey is correct, asking for leniency often works. The survey revealed that 41% of drivers requested a warning didn’t offer an excuse and got the warning, while 27% of respondents still got a ticket after asking for a warning without giving an excuse. Women are less likely to request a warning: 84% of women have never asked for a warning, compared to 73% of men.

Safety First

Speeding significantly increases the likeliness and severity of a crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2018, speeding killed 9,378 people, accounting for 26% of all traffic fatalities that year.

AAA implores all motorists to drive cautiously and within the speed limit. This is even more crucial when driving in hazardous conditions or past emergency vehicles.

Not only is speeding dangerous, it will also hurt your wallet. You’ll have to pay the fine plus your car insurance costs will increase. recently found that auto insurance rates increase between 22% and 30% on average following a speeding ticket. This can result in hundreds of dollars of additional costs.

Searching for auto insurance? Find out what AAA Insurance can do for you. 

Tell us your best speeding ticket excuse in the comments! 

  • william b.

    We need to investigate the lack of police coverage on RT3 south. My experience shows that most drivers travel at 70 to 75 MPH in the passing lane which is 10 to 15 MPH over the 60 MPH Limit. There are no police except at construction sites. There is going to be a big accident one day as the travel at less than a car length between the two cars. Please help us.


    Best excuse my clients use if stopped for speeding clocked by radar is that gun is inaccurate. Ask for magistrate hearing and beat the ticket.

  • BARRY L.

    “Speeding significantly increases the likeliness and severity of a crash.”

    Yes and no. According to a study some years ago – whose results, as I recall, were provided by AAA itself – if everyone ELSE is speeding, and you insist on driving the speed limit even when that makes you substantially slower than all the other cars on the road, you are actually MORE likely to be involved in an accident. (This seems like common sense.)

    In other words, when everyone else is also speeding, flying along with the crowd makes an accident LESS likely. However, IF you are involved in an accident, it IS likely to be more severe, because you are traveling at a higher rate of speed.

  • An amusing story. ~ When I was younger I was the Chief Referee of a Junior Level hockey League (age 18 to 21). It was the playoffs and the rink called me at puck drop time telling me my Referee didn’t show up. With no time to call anyone I grabbed my bag and jumped in my car and headed for the rink. The rink had secure parking so I wasn’t worried about the car. It was 10:00pm ish and no traffic on the highway so I was cruising at about 100 mph. My car would easily do that and safely. A set of headlights came around an on ramp as I blew by so I didn’t see the light bar on top of the cruiser. He fell in behind me and turned on the blues. Although I could have blown the police car away, you don’t try and out run them, so I just pulled over. He asked for my license and registration, I gave it to him and he walked back to his cruiser. He wrote me up for 87 mph. I was a Construction Engineer and had many State Police for Traffic Duty on my jobs and one of them gave me a State Police Baseball Cap which I kept on the rear deck of my car. Of course this Officer saw it and knew he’d get a call if I really knew anybody so he held the ticket till the next day. As soon as I got home from the hockey game I called the Barracks to see if any of my friends were on duty and of course I got one. I told him I had a problem and he said “Yeah, you probably got a ticket in that black beast of yours” I told him my story and assured him I wasn’t racing or messing around. He asked me if I gave the trooper any guff and assured him I didn’t. He called me back the next morning and told me to throw the ticket away, no problem. Incidentally, the black beast is a 1986 Buick Grand National which was the fastest production car in the country at the time and it did the quarter mile in under 11.5 seconds at about 120mph. I still have my baby and it has about 70,000 orig, miles on it. I had given a lot of the troopers a ride in it so they knew what it was.
    That was the only time I ever did anything like that and the only time I’ve ever been stopped. I only go fast and play on the Drag Strip.


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