3 Things To Do When Getting Pulled Over By A Cop

While no one likes to get pulled over by the police, unless you’re doing something that would get you in serious trouble with the law, there’s generally no reason to get nervous or freak out. But despite this, many people feel a lot of anxiety as soon as they see a cop car behind them, even if the siren and flashing lights aren’t on. 

To help you be more comfortable and confident if you ever find yourself in this type of situation, here are three things you should do when getting pulled over by a cop.  

Safely Leave The Flow Of Traffic

As soon as you realize that a police officer is attempting to pull your car over, the best and safest thing for you to do is to leave the flow of traffic as quickly and safely as you possibly can.

According to Brett and Kate McKay, contributors to, the best way to do this is to turn on your flashers or hazard lights as soon as you can. This will alert the officer behind you that you notice what’s going on and are attempting to pull over. However, if you’re on a busy road, pulling over immediately may not be the safest option. So for the safety of yourself and the officer that’s pulling you over, make sure you slowly drive to a close area that will be further out of the flow of traffic. 

Be Courteous

Before the police officer even makes it to your car, there are things you can do to show that you’re being courteous, which can set a positive mood for your entire interaction.

To do this, shares that you should shut off the engine of your car, turn your radio off or on very low, roll your window down, turn on your interior light, and sit with your hands on the steering wheel. By taking all of these actions, you’ll be ready for the cop to come speak to you as well as showing that you’re trying to be non-threatening. 

Try To Remain Calm and Respectful

When the officer is speaking with you, it’s going to be in your best interest to try to remain calm and speak respectfully when you answer questions or respond. Even if you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong, by keeping your cool, you’ll give yourself a better chance of leaving the scene without a negative outcome.

To help you with this, Andrei Zakhareuski, a contributor to, recommends that you try to keep your emotions under control, refrain from being defensive, and speak apologetically. 

To help you the next time you get pulled over, consider studying the tips mentioned above for what to do when getting pulled over by a cop. 

Anna Johansson

Anna is a freelance writer and researcher from the Olympia, WA area who loves to obsess about weird topics and then write about them. When she isn't writing, she is outside on her bike and comtemplating her eventual trip to graduate school.

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