Unsafe Driving Excuses (and how to avoid making them)

Popular Excuses People Use When Driving Unsafely

Unfortunately, we never outgrow the need to rely on excuses, and sometimes we feel forced to rely on grown-up versions of those excuses when we drive unsafely.

• “I didn’t wear my seat belt because it was just a quick trip down the street”. This can be easily avoided by always wearing your seat belt any time you get behind the wheel. It doesn’t matter how long your trip is, you should always buckle up.

• “I didn’t realize how fast I was going”. Police hear this one all the time and they don’t believe it. People usually know how fast they were going. By using this excuse, you admit to not paying attention to one of the most important factors of driving!

• “I didn’t see the car in front of me stopping so suddenly.” This is a common reason given for rear-end collisions but you never have to give this excuse if you leave sufficient room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front. Although that isn’t always possible, it’s a good practice to follow.

• “The light turned red but I was going too fast to stop”. This is a common excuse given for running red lights (resulting either in a ticket or in a collision). However, speed is a factor here. In almost all situations (with the exception of icy conditions), drivers shouldn’t have to enter the intersection when the light is red. By the time a light turns red (and as long as a driver is going the speed limit) they have had sufficient warning to stop.

• “I only had a little bit to drink”. This is a common reason given by drunk drivers. Unfortunately “a little bit to drink” such a relative term and the inebriated driver is probably not the best judge of what “a little bit” really is. The best thing to do to avoid this excuse is not to drive after you have had anything to drink.

When we get caught or collide with another vehicle, one of the most common reactions is to come up with an excuse that reduces our level of responsibility in the situation. The tired excuses given above are unfortunately popular and ineffective. There are safe driving best practices you can use, so that you never have to rely on these excuses again.