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Officer, I Can Explain! My GPS Made Me Do It

Jeff Cadge | The Image Bank | Getty Images

Whooo oo whoo oo whooo!

As soon as we hear the wail of the police siren, we panic, and start running through the Rolodex of excuses in our head so we can get out of it, because—oh man, not me, not today—we just have to get out of it.

Well, they saw you coming a mile away, lead foot! Here are the top five excuses we give to police when pulled over for traffic violations, according to a survey by insurance-comparison site Insurance.com:

"I couldn't see the sign telling me not to do it." (20.4 percent)

"I'm lost and unfamiliar with the roads." (15.6 percent)

"I didn't know it was broken." (12.4 percent)

"Everyone else was doing it." (6.4 percent)

"I'm having an emergency situation in my car" —like spilling a hot beverage in your lap. (5.4 percent)

Other excuses include "I missed my turn/exit," "I had to go to the bathroom," "I didn't do anything dangerous," "I was on my way to an emergency," "My GPS said it was the right thing to do" and here's the best one—"I'm just helping out; I wasn't even supposed to be driving."

Not surprisingly, men were far less likely than women to admit they were lost—of the people who used that excuse, 62 percent were women. They were also less likely to admit not seeing the sign or being unaware something like a taillight was broken.

What men WERE more likely to say than women was "Everyone else was doing it," "I'm having an emergency situation in my car," "My GPS said it was the right thing to do," "I wasn't doing anything dangerous" and "I'm just helping out—I wasn't even supposed to be driving."

In other words, it wasn't their fault. Blame the coffee, blame the GPS, blame the fact that he's just a kind soul helping another human being, but whatever you do, don't blame the guy behind the wheel! And furthermore, no one's life was at risk, so seriously, dude … what's the big deal?!

A charming insight into male and female nature, for sure, but a ticket is a ticket.

"In the end, excuses don't matter," said Michelle Megna, managing editor at Insurance.com. "Your driving record doesn't have asterisks and footnotes."

Of course, we're all tempted to pop off when pulled over, but I'm pretty sure no one has ever gotten out of a ticket by yelling at an officer. Here are tips from Insurance.com about what to do if you get pulled over:

Acknowledge the officer's presence by putting on your right turn signal.

Pull over to the right shoulder as soon as possible.

Turn on your hazard lights.

Turn off the radio. Do not make a phone call.

Remain inside the vehicle and keep your hands where the officer can see them.

Oh, also, zip it!

Contact Pony Blog

  • Cindy Perman is a writer at CNBC.com, covering jobs, real estate, retirement and personal finance.

  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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