What To Do If You Get Pulled Over

Voting Rules
Vote up the strategies you've tried that work, or have heard that work from friends (including cop friends)

Aside from sleeping through your alarm or biting your tongue, getting pulled over is a horrible feeling. Not only is it nerve-wracking, but also it sometimes results in a hefty fine or worse. As recent events have shown, sometimes interacting with the police can be unexpectedly dangerous. To help you play it cool and stay safe during your next moving violation, we've created a list of proper police pull over procedure so you know what to do if you get pulled over by the cops. 

Whether you're guilty or not, being pulled over can result in a great deal of anxiety. Most people don't know what to do when they get pulled over, but there's plenty of advice for a traffic stop that you can keep in mind.

While we hope you never have to use this knowledge, this traffic stop advice could potentially save you from eating crow later on (like... in traffic court). Read through and vote up the helpful hints you think are most useful.


  • 1
    4,453 VOTES

    Don't Let Passengers Interject

    Unless the officer asks one of your passengers a specific question, the dialogue should remain between you and the officer. Make sure your snarky friends save their sarcastic comments until the traffic stop is over. 

    4,453 votes
  • 2
    4,086 VOTES

    Use The Turn Signal To Indicate You're Pulling Over

    Use The Turn Signal To Indicate You're Pulling Over
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Don't make things harder than necessary. You're already being pulled over for a violation, so you don't need any other issues. Use your turn signal and begin changing lanes as soon as traffic allows.

    4,086 votes
  • 3
    4,151 VOTES

    Stay In Your Car

    Stay In Your Car
    Photo: dwightsghost / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    Until you're told otherwise, stay in your car. If a cop needs you to step out of the vehicle, they will ask you to do so.

    4,151 votes
  • 4
    4,071 VOTES

    Turn The Music Down

    Some people think it's a good idea to just "act normal." This is only true in that you shouldn't immediately panic. But if you're blasting the Beastie Boys when that cop walks up to your window, chances are they're going to be really annoyed and immediately ask you to turn it down.

    This sets the tone for the rest of your conversation, and is not the way to go if you are planning to talk your way out of that citation. 

    4,071 votes
  • 5
    3,853 VOTES

    Pull Back Into Traffic Cautiously

    Pull Back Into Traffic Cautiously
    Photo: Unknown / Px Here / Public Domain

    There's no real protocol regarding who needs to pull away first. Before you pull back into the road, collect yourself. Put your license, registration, and ticket away. Take a couple of deep breaths if you need to regain emotional control. 

    Finally, remember to use your turn signal when you're getting back into traffic.

    3,853 votes
  • 6
    3,630 VOTES

    But Seriously, Relax

    But Seriously, Relax
    Photo: Breaking Bad / AMC

    This cannot be stressed enough. Keeping calm is the most important way to mitigate the unpleasantness of encountering law enforcement after being pulled over. Getting agitated, hostile, or nervous are all great ways to arouse suspicion, which could get you searched and more. 

    Try to remember that - in most cases - this is a totally routine occurrence.

    3,630 votes