Is there anything worse than when the blue and red lights start flashing behind your car? Getting pulled over is always a nerve-wracking experience that sometimes comes with a hefty fine. While most people learn early on what to do when we get pulled over, many drivers don’t know what they shouldn’t do.
Here are six things you should never do when getting pulled over. Following these tips during your interaction with the officer will help things go as smoothly as possible.
Your first instinct when you see those flashing lights might be to panic. Being panicky will only make the situation tenser. Remember that everyone gets pulled over at some point in their life, and the officer is just doing their job.
It might be a habit to remove your seatbelt when your car stops moving, or you may need to unbuckle it to reach your license and registration. Regardless, don’t do so until the officer can see what you’re doing. If your seatbelt is off when they approach your vehicle, they may assume you never put it on in the first place, resulting in another ticket.
Arguing with an office will never help, even if you know that you’re right. Wait for your time in court to state your reasoning. If you raise your voice or seem argumentative to the officer, they will note it in their traffic stop notes, which won’t help you in front of a judge.
Any officer is going to be on high alert when approaching a stranger’s vehicle. Making sudden movements or having your hands out of sight can be a sign of danger to an officer. If you need to reach for documentation, let the officer know first.
Pull over in a populated area to make sure you’re safe during your interaction with the officer. If you want to move to a safer location, the officer will not fault you for wanting to protect yourself. You’ll also want to avoid pulling over in a spot that puts the officer in danger—park far enough from heavy traffic so that the officer is less likely to be struck by a careless driver.
Unless the officer asks, there’s no reason to leave your car during a traffic stop. Stay in your vehicle to show compliance and assure the office that you aren’t a threat.
Knowing what to do and not to do during a traffic stop will make the situation much less scary and might even result in a warning instead of a citation. Remember these six things you should never do when you get pulled over for a less daunting traffic stop experience.