Excuses rarely work in life. But there are exceptions to the rule, and they can save you from a world of trouble.
For example, the next time a cop stops you while driving, try uttering the excuse, “I didn’t know I was speeding.” About 26% of the time, this can get you out of a ticket, according to CarInsurance.com’s third annual “Caught Speeding” survey of 1,000 drivers’ habits.
Overall, excuses probably work better than you think when faced with the possibility of a ticket. Almost 50% of survey respondents say using an excuse with a police officer helped avoid a ticket. That’s nearly double the success rate reported in 2020.
The five most successful excuses are:
- I didn’t know I was speeding — 26%
- Medical emergency — 25%
- Everyone else was going the same speed — 22%
- Late for work — 21%
- I had to use the bathroom — 20%
It probably helps when the excuse also happens to be true, and those trying to justify their bad driving behaviors appear to be increasingly honest.
In a press release, Les Masterson, managing editor for CarInsurance.com, said only 12% of survey respondents lied when giving excuses this year, compared with almost 33% last year.
Other excuses were less successful, but still helped at least some drivers avoid a citation. They include:
- Late for an interview — 16%
- Late to pick up or drop my child off — 15%
- I didn’t see the sign — 14%
- Late for court appointment — 13%
- Late for doctor appointment — 13%
- Late to meet friends — 12%
- I’m bringing home hot food and didn’t want it to get cold — 11%
- Late to meet partner, husband or wife — 11%
- Late for a date — 10%
- Late for a funeral — 10%
- Late for concert, performance, sporting event, dinner reservation — 9%
The survey found that men and younger drivers are more likely to offer up excuses when faced with a speeding ticket. A large group of women — 69% — said they never have offered an excuse, compared to 43% of men.
What should you do if your excuse falls flat? Ask for a warning instead of a ticket.
Among those surveyed, 36% requested a warning, with police granting nearly half of those requests. That success rate is up from both 2019 and 2020, when 41% of drivers who asked for a warning got one.
Certain types of tickets can cause your car insurance rates to soar. For more, check out “The 10 Worst Types of Tickets for Your Car Insurance Rate.”