Even though you might not ever expect it to happen, there’s a good chance that you could get pulled over by the cops at one point or another in your life. And these moments can be extremely tense. Sometimes traffic stops unfold without any major incidents. But if the situation takes a turn, traffic stops can escalate into confrontations or arrests. Automotive Expert Andrei Zakhareuski advises that “Being pulled over by a police officer for the first time can be a very emotional experience. Drivers often feel confused, afraid, and even humiliated when they see flashing lights in their rearview mirror for the first time. There are several things that inexperienced drivers should know to make this unlucky experience go smoothly.” Here are a few common mistakes to avoid during traffic stops:
1. Don’t Wait too Long to Pull-Over:
If you only interact with law-enforcement on rare occasions, the surprise of being pulled over can totally throw you off mentally. Be careful not to get so distracted that you accidentally ignore instructions to pull over. Pull over promptly, and safely, in order to indicate your willingness to comply with officers’ instructions.
2. Don’t Unbuckle Your Seatbelt:
As soon as drivers bring a vehicle to a complete stop, it’s a natural reflex to unbuckle the seatbelt and loosen up. But this is an unconscious habit which can make you look like you were driving without a seatbelt on in the first place. Never unbuckle your seatbelt during a traffic stop until instructed to.
3. Don’t Get Out of the Car:
Just because you’ve been pulled over, doesn’t mean you have the luxury of exiting your vehicle at will. It’s more likely that getting out of your car unannounced will be perceived as an act of aggression. Do not exit your vehicle unless instructed to by law enforcement.
4. Don’t Ramble:
Being pulled over is nerve-wracking. And a lot of people tend to talk profusely under pressure. But instead of panicking, keep a cool head and avoid speaking just to break the ice. Relax and let your conversation with the officers unfold naturally.
5. Don’t Be Defensive:
When people get pulled over, it’s hard not to feel like you’re on the spot. Be careful not to let your emotions get the better of you though. Don’t interrupt when being spoken to, don’t be confrontational, and don’t do disruptive things like keeping the stereo on or using profanity.
The easiest way to defuse the tension during traffic stops is to follow law enforcement’s instructions. This doesn’t just start when you’re face-to-face with the police however. It starts the moment sirens signal you to pull over. The more polite and respectful you are during the exchange, the easier it is to get past the interrogation. For more information, visit our website or give us a call at 1-800-639-7654 to find out how Adriana’s Insurance Services can help you stay safe. We got you covered!