'My GPS Made Me Do It': Top Excuses When Getting Pulled Over

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"My GPS told me to do it." That's one of the top excuses offered by drivers who get pulled over for a moving violation, according to a new study. Other favorites: I'm lost; I spilled a hot drink in my lap; I'm on my way to an emergency.

According to the survey by Insurance.com, which polled 500 drivers over the age of 18, women are more likely to plead ignorance, such as being lost (65 percent) or unknowingly having broken equipment. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to claim an emergency situation (67 percent) or that everyone else was doing it, so what's the harm? Men also accounted for a whopping 82 percent of the respondents who blamed the voice in the dash.

The overall most-cited excuse by everyone: "I couldn't see the sign telling me not to do it," followed closely by "I'm lost and unfamiliar with the roads."

"By now, police officers can probably finish people's sentences," said Michelle Megna, managing editor of Insurance.com. "I wonder if they wouldn't appreciate a little dog-ate-my-homework creativity."

What's That Gonna Cost?

If you do get pulled over, the first thing you're likely to worry about is the effect of a moving violation on your car insurance premium. Insurance.com's Uh-Oh! Calculator offers an estimate of possible insurance hikes following a minor traffic infraction.

But not to worry: A study by competitor InsuranceQuotes.com (a Bankrate company) found in February that most drivers won't pay additional premiums as a result of a minor moving violation. That study found that only 31 percent of Americans who received a traffic ticket in the past five years had a rate increase as a result, and those who did have an increase paid less than $100 more a year. Younger drivers were more likely to have a premium increase as a result of a ticket; repeat offenders and drivers with serious violations like driving under the influence or leaving the scene of an accident, almost always saw higher premiums.

What to Do If You're Pulled Over

Regardless of the reason, drivers who see flashing lights in the rearview mirror should throw on their turn signal and pull over as soon as it's safe to do so. Don't make any calls (even with a headset) and keep hands in sight on the top of the steering wheel. Wait to reach into the glove box for an insurance card until asked by the officer.

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Exercise caution, particularly if the car that's pulling you over is unmarked. On several occasions in the past few months in the U.S. and Canada, young women have reported being pulled over by police impersonators.

Police in Pennsylvania offer this tip: "If you are being signaled to stop by an unmarked vehicle that you believe may not be a police vehicle you may continue to drive at a slow speed to a safe, well-lit, populated area before pulling over. You may call 911 and advise them that you are being stopped by a vehicle that you believe may not be a police vehicle and the dispatcher may advise the officer of the reason that you are not stopping. Once you have stopped for an officer in an unmarked car, you may request that a marked police unit respond, as well, to confirm that the unmarked police vehicle is legitimate."

But if you're pulled over by a legitimate officer for an actual driving violation, excuses will do you less good than simply admitting the violation. "In the end, the excuses don't matter. Your driving record doesn't have asterisks and footnotes," says Megna.

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'My GPS Made Me Do It': Top Excuses When Getting Pulled Over

By Michael Zak | AOL Autos

A recent Interest.com study looked at the 25 largest metropolitan areas in the United States to see which median-income households in those respective areas can afford to purchase a new car, the average price of which was $30,550 in 2012, according to TrueCar. The study found that in only one city can residents actually afford a car with this sticker price -- Washington, D.C.

Households with an average income in Washington, D.C. can afford a payment of up to $628, which would allow for purchase of a $31,940 vehicle. The next closest city, San Francisco, can only afford $537 per month, equating to a $26,786.

While it's not news that Americans like to buy things that they can't afford, the data is a little surprising given how many great cars there are out there for well under $30,000. Solid hybrids, CUVs, sedans and sports cars can all be had for less than this.

We've racked our brains and come up with 5 of the best cars that are cheaper than the average car's purchase price. These are affordable, versatile, fun and fuel efficient. Of course, there are some stinkers in this price range, as well, so we've included 5 vehicles we think you should avoid.

Subaru BRZ

MSRP: $25,495 - $27,495
Invoice: $24,327 - $26,112
Fuel Economy: 22 mpg City, 30 mpg Highway

The Subaru BRZ proves that driving bliss doesn't have to cost a fortune. The rear-wheel drive sports coupe is one of the most engaging vehicles on the road today, with utterly superb dynamics and looks. The best part? You can have one for $25,495.

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Volkswagen Golf

MSRP: $18,095 - $25,200
Invoice: $17,371 - $24,192
Fuel Economy: 23 mpg City, 33 mpg Highway

Although the redesigned 2014 version of this handsome hatch will be on sale in the near future, the current generation is still worth buying. It's fuel efficient, fun and surprisingly versatile. Starting at less than $20,000, the Golf is also quite affordable.

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Toyota Prius v

MSRP: $26,650 - $30,295
Invoice: $24,809 - $28,202
Fuel Economy: 44 mpg City, 40 mpg Highway

The Toyota Pirus v is essentially a bigger version of the popular Prius hybrid. This hatchback acheives stellar fuel economy while allowing for transport of numerous people and all of their stuff. Starting at $26,650, you can have all the benefits of a versatile hybrid for an agreeable price.

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Mazda CX-5

MSRP: $20,995 - $28,595
Invoice: $20,396 - $27,771
Fuel Economy: 26 mpg City, 35 mpg Highway

The Mazda CX-5 is one of our favorite crossovers here at AOL Autos even when taking more expensive ones into account. Remarkably fun to drive, fuel efficient and starting at a low price, there's a lot to love about this agile utility vehicle.

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MSRP: $16,695 - $21,115
Invoice: $16,208 - $20,218
Fuel Economy: 28 mpg City, 38 mpg Highway

This small sedan continue to be the darling of both critics and consumers nationwide. Available with tons of standard features, great looks and sweet fuel economy, the Elantra is one of the best cars on the planet right now.

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MSRP: $18,995 - $32,820
Invoice: $18,770 - $31,334
Fuel Economy: 21 mpg City, 29 mpg Highway

The 200 is a holdover from when Chrysler was owned by Daimler and then private equity-firm Cerberus Capital. It's not that this car is awful, especially since the new Chrysler, managed by Fiat, made a series of improvements. It's that the other cars in this category are so good, and much better designed and engineered.

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MSRP: $18,725 - $21,815
Invoice: $17,789 - $20,725
Fuel Economy: 23 mpg City, 31 mpg Highway

The Scion tC is intended to be a sporty coupe. The problem? It's not sporty. At all. In fact, the tC finds itself on the Consumer Reports list of the least fun cars to drive and we're inclined to agree with that assessment.

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MSRP: $18,995 - $30,795
Invoice: $18,800 - $29,276
Fuel Economy: 19 mpg City, 26 mpg Highway

Short on features and with pretty poor driving dynamics, the Dodge Journey is one you should skip if you're shopping for a sub-$30,000 crossover. We're looking forward to Dodge's next attempt.

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MSRP: $25,900 - $29,200
Invoice: $24,452 - $27,507
Fuel Economy: 24 mpg City, 35 mpg Highway

Don't be fooled by the badge. This is not really a luxury car. With uninspired driving dynamics and a lackluster interior, you should pass on the ILX even though its low sticker price seems very tempting.

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MSRP: $12,490 - $17,890
Invoice: $11,616 - $16,638
Fuel Economy: 34 mpg City, 38 mpg Highway

The idea of the smart fortwo is great. It's the execution that's the problem. The fortwo is loud, terrible to drive and really isn't all that fuel efficient, considering its size. There are way better options between $10,000 and $20,000.

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