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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, the most common reasons respondents give for speeding are:

  • 24% claim they didn’t realize they were speeding.
  • 18 % say they are late for work.
  • 14% remark that they were going as fast as everyone else.
  • 11% blame being late to pick up or drop off a child.
  • 11% tell police there is a medical emergency.
  • 11% say they didn’t see a speed limit sign.
  • 9% offer that they have to use the bathroom.

Some of the less common excuses were running late for an interview (8%), being late for a funeral (3%) and bringing home hot food and didn’t want it to get cold (1%).

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Men Versus Women

When it comes to safe driving habits, it appears women reign supreme. The study found that 36% of drivers had never been pulled over for speeding. Of that group, 29% were male and 71% were female.

Among those who had been stopped, there was a significant discrepancy between men and women in the excuses they gave police. More women (61%) than men (39%) said that they didn’t know they were speeding. Meanwhile, men were far more likely to give the excuse that they were late to meet friends or for a concert, performance, sporting event or dinner reservation.

speeding ticket excuses

Speeding Habits

According to the survey, 82% of drivers acknowledge exceeding the speed limit by as much as 15 mph, while 15% admit to driving 16 to 29 mph over the speed limit. Even 3% of people admit driving more than 30 mph over the limit.

Other speeding habits include:

  • 49% said they speed, but it’s rare.
  • 38% said they almost always speed but only between 5 and 10 mph over the limit.
  • 71% said it’s OK to speed on the highway.
  • 11% said they’re OK with speeding on residential streets.

So, what is the reason behind speeding? Drivers had various explanations: 36% said to arrive on time, 27% said everyone else does it, and 17% said 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 and got it, while only 17% of respondents still got a ticket after asking for a warning.

Men are more likely to request a warning. Just 33% of men have never asked for a warning compared to 53% of women. However, more men (25%) than women (7%) still received a ticket after asking for a warning.


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 can do for you with AAA Auto Insurance.

Tell us your best speeding ticket excuse in the comments! 

  • William B. D.

    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.

  • Herbert N.

    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 M. 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.

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