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The Top Speeding 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 Successful Speeding Ticket Excuses

These are the most common excuses respondents gave when successfully avoiding a speeding ticket, according to a survey by CarInsurance.com.

  • 26% claim they didn’t realize they were speeding.
  • 21% say they are late for work.
  • 25% tell police there is a medical emergency.
  • 20% say they have to use the bathroom.
  • 14% say they didn’t see a speed limit sign.
  • 22% remark that they were going as fast as everyone else.
  • 15% blame being late to pick up or drop off a child.
  • 13% remarked that they were late for a doctor’s appointment.
  • 13% said they were late for a court appointment.

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Men vs. Women

When it comes to safe driving habits, it appears women reign supreme. 42% of women say they’ve never been stopped for speeding or haven’t in about 10 years, compared to just 15% of men.

The most common excuse for speeding for both men and women was that they did not realize they were speeding.

speeding ticket excuses

Speeding Habits

According to the survey, 52% of drivers acknowledge exceeding the speed limit by 5-10 mph, while 4% 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:

  • 31% said they speed, but it’s rare.
  • 34% said they almost always speed but only between 5 and 10 mph over the limit.
  • 64% said it’s OK to speed on the highway.
  • 8% said they’re OK with speeding on residential streets.

So, what is the reason behind speeding? Drivers had various explanations: 17% said they speed to arrive on time, 10% said speed limits are generally too low and 8% 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 48% of drivers requested a warning didn’t offer an excuse and got the warning, while 29% of respondents still got a ticket after asking for a warning without giving an excuse. Women are less likely to request a warning: 20% of women have never asked for a warning, compared to 52% of men.

Safety First

Speeding significantly increases the likeliness and severity of a crash. According to the latest stats from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding killed 12,330 people in 2021.

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 can also hurt your wallet. You’ll have to pay the fine, plus your car insurance will likely increase.

If you do get ticketed for speeding, completing the AAA Defensive Driving Course can qualify you for an insurance discount and license point reduction in certain states. It’s also a great way to brush up on your driving skills.

Tell us your best speeding ticket excuse in the comments! 

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63 Thoughts on “The Top Speeding Ticket Excuses

  1. It is not surprising that a very large percentage of drivers think it is ok to break the law by speeding. We are inundated by commercials that sell speed. I consider the media to be irresponsible when they promote speed and hands free driving.

  2. I abhor speeders. My son was killed by a speeding tractor trailer while stopped in traffic on the highway due to an accident in front of him.
    It was senseless. I did get an “I’m sorry”. However, that is not going to bring my so back. He was 20 yrs old.

    1. Hi Elzbieta, thank you for sharing your story. We are so sorry for the loss of your son. Such a tragedy serves as a reminder of the importance of responsible driving for all of us and the very real consequences that can result from speeding.

    2. Hi, Elzabieta.

      Really, really sorry about your loss, especially since your son was so young. It’s really disgusting how many people speed when they drive, and don’t give a damn whether or not other people’s lives are either lost or irrevocably and permanently and adversely compromised as a result. People who speed are selfish, selfish, selfish–and dangerous to boot. Again, sorry about your loss.

    3. I cannot express how sorry I am you lost your precious son. We all need to
      hear this and not only slow down but aim to drive more carefully all around
      looking at the GPS talking. texting. checking. No No No No. You had an
      impact on me to be awake careful and calm
      my love to you from my heart’
      Lucy

    1. Hi Burt, thanks for the comment. The percentages represent how many people were successful in using the excuse. If those surveyed were successful with two different excuses, they would count twice. This is why the percentages exceed 100.

  3. My sister was pulled over for doing 80. She asked the trooper for a ticket, to show our Dad that her VW Beetle could go that fast. He did not oblige.

  4. I was going to write to you a personal story but instead I’ll get right to the point. In Rhode Island if a police officer says you were speeding that’s it. The judge will cite the archaic case of State vs Sprague from 1974. That’s it you’re guilty no matter what. However, I took my case all the way to the chief judge and had my ticket overturned. My new car was in the process of being registered by the dealer. My tags didn’t match. Since the officer couldn’t cite me for that as I had the dealer paperwork he chose speeding. I could get that dismissed on my good driving record. He should have just let me go.

  5. 2012, driving on the Palisades parkway I was driving with the flow of traffic at 65 in the driving lane. Vehicles were passing in the left lane going much faster. I was pulled over and when I asked why the cars going faster in the passing lane were not pulled over and I was? His response was because I chose you. I completely forgot about the ticket and in 2021 when I went to renew my license, I was told that my license had been suspended in 2014. 7 years driving on suspended license and not once did I get pulled over. Luck or good driver?

  6. To help avoid speeding on freeways, turn on cruise control, and set it for a speed below the limit.

  7. i cant drive im a kid but my mom got pulled over and she said hey i have to go to my doctors appointment and me being in the back i rolled down the window and said to the cop she is lying 😇

  8. The way to reduce speeding violations on major highways is to raise speed limits to levels where most drivers feel comfortable. 55 mph or even 65 mph on modern interstate highways is ridiculous.

    1. That’s called the “85th Percentile”. The speed at which 85% of the cars will travel at on any given road.
      I think it’s the best way to set a speed limit on many, not all, roads.

    2. Raising the speed limits on highways, etc.? That’s a ton of BS. More people would be killed or permanently injured for speeding, not fewer.

  9. Speed limits nationally were created in the 1970s when cars were much, MUCH, unsafe. Modern cars today are a thousand times more safe than the cars of the past. In my experience, the people who cause accidents on the highway are people driving under of exactly the speed limit. These are the types of people who are so self righteous that they think they have to regulate the speed everyone else drives. Driving 60 in the passing lane of a 65 MPH highway while cars are flying by to your right at 75-80 is DANGEROUS. If you want to drive slow then stick to the travel or slow vehicle lanes. If someone is coming up behind you, MERGE LANES, don’t try to be a hero and brake check them. people drive like my grandma these days. The gas pedal is the little one on the right for all of you who don’t know!!

  10. I don’t have a speeding excuse! Thanks be to God I don’t speed. Makes me angry when I see so many other drivers speeding as if they’re the only ones on the road. There seems to be little or no respect for residential speed limit. I find myself praying a lot while driving asking God to touch the hearts of speeders and help them slow down. I also pray for their safety as well as for the safety of others who may experience harm from speeding drivers.

  11. On my weekly trips on the Garden State “Raceway,” hardly a trip goes by without seeing at least one race at high speed between two or more cars, weaving in and out of traffic. I have witnessed horrific accidents, but it seems the current environment makes it safer for police to pick up the pieces than stop and ticket these demented idiots. Let us rally around enforcement to challenge and stop this rampant behavior on the Turnpike and Garden State. Helicopters are a best defense to identify these incidents.

  12. We have friend, Tilly 80 yo and sharp as a tack. But Tilly is always in a hurry. She was driving 75-80 mph to visit a friend on a 55mph highway. She saw the flashing-lights and thought “oh my, now I have an escort”. The trooper pulled alongside and motioned her to pullover, which she did. He motioned her to lower the window and asked for license and registration. Tilly looked at the Officer;(I swear this is what she told him.) “I don’t have either”. The Officer, in deference to her age asked “where are they?” She replied “I stole the car and killed the owner and put his body in the trunk.” The Officer, totally flummoxed, loosed his gun and backed away while warning Tilly to stay in the car and “keep your hands where I can see them.”
    Two minutes later a Black and White pulls behind the Trooper’s car. Two officers with shotguns jump out the back, the Sargent first speaks to the Officer and then approaches Tilly’s car, warily. My Officer tells me you don’t have license or registration. Tilly hand the Sargent her papers, he checks them even checking the vin number. He hands them back, looking a bit perplexed he asks her to pop the trunk which she complies. The Sargent walks back to check the trunk, but it’s nice and neat. The Sargent really perplex now, returns to Tilly and tells her what his trooper said and asks “what’s going on”? Tilly with a straight face says “I don’t know, but I suppose he also told you I was speeding.”
    Tilly won’t say what happened next, except she has the biggest smile when you ask her.
    Tilly’s friend, Geo. Kleiner

    1. What a willfully stupid idiot this Tilley is! It sounds as if she really doesn’t care whether or not she ends up seriously injuring or killing herself and/or other people on the road. People who insist on going that far over the posted speed limits, regardless of what the weather conditions and road conditions are like are extraordinarily egotistic and selfish, and don’t care about anybody but themselves. Karma invariably comes back to speeders, in the form of a speeding ticket, a suspended license, or a nasty car crash that results in either the maiming or killing of the speeder his/herself, and/or other people. Add alcohol to that, and it’s even more dangerous to the speeder and other drivers on the road.

      Ever since 9/11, the overall situation has continued to worsen.

  13. About 1968 or so, I was living in Boston, and visiting friends in Western Massachusetts, and was going abouot 15 miles per hour over the limit on one of the back roads, with no traffic. I wal pulled over, and when I gave the officer my driver’s license and registration, the following conversation ensured:
    Officer: “Is this your correct address?”
    Me: “Yes sir”
    Officer:” Well, since you are from Boston, I will just give you a written warning”.
    Boston drivers had a reputation even then.

    1. Boston drivers, and Massachusetts drivers, generally, have had a reputation, not only for speeding, but for not being especially alert on the roads. At least New York drivers, while they, too, are aggressive and rude, unlike many Boston, and Massachusetts drivers generally, are alert.

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