We have all seen those drivers: those who text while driving, not paying attention to the road, those who tailgate or change lanes without signaling, those aggressive drivers speeding around slower cars. While nobody’s perfect, it is definitely easier to get pulled over than you think. If you want to avoid being pulled over, as most of people do, it can help to know what to avoid doing while on the road.
What are the police really looking for? Here are some things to avoid doing if you’d prefer not to get pulled over:
- Speeding. This is tops on traffic officers’ lists. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why, either. The faster you go, the harder it is to react to unexpected situations, like another car’s sudden lane change or a pedestrian or animal stepping into the street. As your speed builds, your braking distance increases as well, and it gets harder to come to a quick, complete stop. And people are driving faster than ever before. We all get impatient, there’s more traffic, and we all have somewhere to be. But if you’d rather not pay a speeding ticket, slow down! No more than 5 miles over the limit if you want to avoid meeting your local officer.
- Cell phone use: Many areas now have cell phone laws in place; whether it’s hands free phone use only or no texting, when a policeman sees you with a phone breaking one of these laws, he’s going to pull you over. Illegal cell phone use is responsible for a lot of accidents, and those laws are in place for a reason.
- Dangerous driving: Hazardous driving includes things such as rolling through a stop sign, running a red light, turning right on red when there are signs clearly telling you not to, illegal U-turns, and more. Some of this is caused by distracted drivers; those people who put on their makeup in the car in the morning, eat lunch as they drive or even change clothes going down the road. Pay attention to what you’re doing. Don’t multitask and drive!
- Equipment violations: Make sure your taillights and headlights work and that your windows aren’t illegally tinted. Broken windshields, expired tags and even missing license plates are all things the police see, and ticket.
If You Get Pulled Over
If you do get pulled over, be courteous. Officers have legal discretion in what they can cite you for, so saying or doing the wrong thing can just make the problem worse. Don’t be argumentative. When the officer approaches, take a minute to breathe. If the officer asks if you know why you’ve been pulled over, be vague but not evasive. Don’t admit to guilt, but don’t be a jerk, either.
If you get a ticket, or worse, get accused of a crime such as DWI, it is important to talk to a good defense lawyer as soon as possible. They know the laws better than you do, and can be your best friends in times of need.