As a new driver, your instructor told you that you should never break the speed limit, not even to pass. You nodded in agreement and did not speed on your driving test.
Once you got your license, though, you wondered what you were missing. You felt like everyone around you was speeding and you were the only one going at the speed limit. Should you speed up to stay with the flow of traffic? Why was everyone breaking the law?
If you feel like almost everyone is speeding, you’re not actually that far off. When asked, about 48% of all drivers noted that they broke the speed limit by roughly 15 miles per hour on the freeway. For 15% of them, they did it regularly, while those 48% admitted to it in the previous month.
And it’s not just freeways. On residential streets, nearly the same amount (45%) admitted that they had broken the limit by 10 miles per hour in the previous month. About 11% claimed to do it regularly.
Are these numbers accurate? It’s clear that everyone who admitted to it was likely telling the truth, as there would be no reason to lie in that regard. It is certainly possible that some drivers who had broken the limit did not report it, perhaps because they didn’t want to admit to something illegal, because they had forgotten that it happened or because they did not even realize they were speeding at the time.
If you get pulled over while just trying to go with the speed of traffic, it can feel very unfair and it is important for you to know about all of the legal defense options you have.