From an insurance point of view, you never want to be pulled over by a cop. Not only can this lead to a ticket (and money out of your pocket) but in the long run it can increase your premium.
During a traffic stop, the policeman is going to be concerned with two things: staying safe and explaining to you what happened. Of course, this is not to say that all cops are going to be friendly and respectful. Some can be real jerks during a traffic stop. For this reason, you need to know what you should and should not be doing.
Here are five things to do after you see the lights flashing behind you:
1. Pull Over Right Away
You don’t want to give the cop the impression that you are trying to get away. You should pull your car to the right side of the road as soon as possible, with your safety in mind. If you are unable to pull over immediately, put on your four-ways as to acknowledge the situation.
2. Turn Your Car Off and Put Your Hands on the Wheel
Believe it or not, these are two things that many people forget to do. Instead, they leave their car running and begin to shuffle through their glove box. Are most of these people up to no good? Of course not. That being said, this is one of the quickest ways to “freak out” a police officer. They need to ensure their own safety at all times. If you are going through your glove box, they don’t know if you are looking for your insurance card or a weapon. Do yourself a favor and keep your hands on the wheel, where they can be seen at all times.
3. Keep Your Mouth Shut
Does this mean you should ignore the cop when he or she speaks to you? The short answer is no. However, you don’t want to say anything self-incriminating. If you are asked a question that is confusing or may lead to a guilty plea, you have the right to simply respond “no” or “I am not comfortable answering that.” Wait until you are asked for your license, registration, and insurance card before handing it over.
4. Check Your Attitude
Some people immediately go on the defensive when they are pulled over. The office comes to the window and within a couple of seconds they are explaining that they did nothing wrong. If you are calm and respectful you may get off with just a warning. On the other hand, if you throw your attitude around you are definitely going to end up with a ticket – and maybe worse.
5. Do What You are Asked
Nobody wants to feel as if they are being pushed around, but remember one thing: you are never going to win an argument with a police officer. They are in charge at all times. For this reason, you should do what you are asked no matter what it may be. This includes getting out of the vehicle if prompted.
Nobody wants to be pulled over by a cop for a moving violation. If you find yourself in this unfortunate position, follow the five tips above. These can better your chance of driving away without a ticket to pay.