Top 10 excuses for speeding

Consumer Reports News: April 30, 2013 04:08 PM

Admit it. We've all nudged past the speed limit, either to keep up with the flow of traffic or to shave precious minutes off a drive. And we all know it compromises fuel economy and increases safety risks. So, what's your excuse?

Even if you have one, the police officer who pulls you over probably heard it before, and in reality, it won't change the fact that you were breaking the law. (See our car insurance buying guide.)

To learn more about car safety, visit our guide to car safety. has just published the results of a survey of 500 licensed drivers age 18 and over. Among those who reported using an excuse during a traffic stop, the top 10 excuses include:

10. My GPS said it was the right thing to do: 2.2 percent.
9. I was on my way to an emergency: 4 percent.
8. I didn't do anything dangerous: 4.2 percent.
7. I had to go to the bathroom: 4.6 percent.
6. I missed my turn/exit: 4.8 percent.
5. I'm having an emergency situation in my car: 5.4 percent.
4. Everyone else was doing it: 6.4 percent.
3. I didn't know I broke the speed limit: 12.4 percent.
2. I'm lost and unfamiliar with the roads: 15.6 percent.

And the number one reason...

1. I couldn't see the sign telling me not to do it: 20.4 percent.

According to, being pulled over for doing 1-14 mph could not only result in a ticket, but it could result in a 10-percent insurance premium increase, based on a national average. Get nailed for 15-29 mph over the limit and expect a 12-percent increase.

Creativity, or unique circumstances, may worm you out of a ticket, but no excuse will convince your insurance carrier that speeding was justified.

Be safe out there.

Jeff Bartlett

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Safety News


Cars Build & Buy Car Buying Service
Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience.

See your savings


Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more