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Pulled over? Top 11 excuses to get out of a ticket.

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Manuel Valdes/AP/File

(Read caption) A 1970 Plymouth Satellite police cruiser is parked on a downtown Seattle street.

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A couple of weeks ago, we told you about a study that suggested drivers' excuses have little bearing on whether they're ticketed when they're pulled over. 

But of course, that doesn't mean that drivers will stop offering alibis altogether. The folks at Insurance.com recently asked 500 U.S. motorists about the excuses they've given police officers. Here are that survey's top 11 responses, along with some helpful translations: 

1. I couldn't see the sign telling me not to do it.
(Translation: "If you'd cut back the trees, I'd have known this was a school zone!")

2. I'm lost and unfamiliar with the roads.
(Translation: "Please, take pity on poor little me!")

3. I didn't know it was broken.
(Translation: "Really, I've been meaning to get it fixed!")

4. Everyone else was doing it.
(Translation: "Yo, why are you picking on me?") 

5. I'm having an emergency situation in my car.
(Translation: "Officer, I just spilled coffee in my lap, and it's VERY hot!") 

6. I missed my turn/exit.
(Translation: "Obviously, I need to get where I'm going, right?") 

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7. I had to go to the bathroom.
(Translation: "Surely it's okay to zip through intersections when you have to pee?") 

8. I didn't do anything dangerous.
(Translation: "Hey, it's not like I was doing doughnuts on a pre-school lawn!") 

9. I was on my way to an emergency.
(Translation: "And my emergency is far more important than any emergencies I might've just caused!") 

10. My GPS said it was the right thing to do.
(Translation: "It was peer pressure, okay?")

11. I'm just helping out; I wasn't even supposed to be driving.
(Translation: "Which would you prefer: me cruising five miles over the speed limit, or my drunk friend here plowing through a red light?")

To make things even more interesting -- and contentious -- surveyers kept track of respondents' gender. So, the breakdown of folks who used those 11 excuses looks like this: 

1. I couldn't see the sign telling me not to do it. 
Men: 38%
Women: 62%

2. I'm lost and unfamiliar with the roads. 
Men: 35%
Women: 65%

3. I didn't know it was broken. 
Men: 39%
Women:  61%

4. Everyone else was doing it.
Men: 56%
Women: 44%

5. I'm having an emergency situation in my car.
Men: 67%
Women:  33%

6. I missed my turn/exit.
Men: 54%
Women:  46%

7. I had to go to the bathroom.
Men: 35%
Women:  65%

8. I didn't do anything dangerous.
Men: 71%
Women:  29%

9. I was on my way to an emergency.
Men: 55%
Women:  45%

10. My GPS said it was the right thing to do.
Men: 82%
Women:  18%

11. I'm just helping out; I wasn't even supposed to be driving.
Men: 90%
Women: 10%

As Insurance.com points out, men seem to prefer excuses that foreground their altruism (as in, "Hey, I was just helping a friend), blame their GPS device, or insist that they didn't really do anything terrible. Women, on the other hand, were more likely to claim ignorance, to admit that they were lost, or to blame their bladders.

 


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