What To Do If You Get Pulled Over 

Lauren Slocum
Updated September 18, 2019 205.9k votes 22.2k voters 1.3M views 23 items

List 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.


Don't Let Passengers Interject
Don't Let Passengers Int... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list What To Do If You Get Pulled Over
Photo:  StockSnap/Pixabay/Public Domain

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. 

Is this a good idea?
Use The Turn Signal To Indicate You're Pulling Over
Use The Turn Signal To I... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list What To Do If You Get Pulled 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.

Is this a good idea?
Stay In Your Car
Stay In Your Car is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list What To Do If You Get Pulled Over
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.

Is this a good idea?
Turn The Music Down
Turn The Music Down is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list What To Do If You Get Pulled Over
Photo:  Notwist/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

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. 

Is this a good idea?