More than 670,000 U.S. motorists were pulled over in 2022. The wrong words or actions during even a routine traffic stop can have life-changing consequences, especially if you are legally armed.
Follow these simple and common sense tips –
The first thing you should do when you notice flashing lights from a police car behind you is to put on a turn signal for the direction in which you plan to pull over.
- This alerts other drivers and also lets the police officer know that you are complying.
- If it is not safe to immediately pull over, turn on your hazard lights to let the police officer and drivers nearby know you will get over as soon as it is safe to do so.
Put your car in park or turn off the car completely.
- This lets the police officer know that you aren’t going to try and speed off.
Make yourself visible.
- Lower the front windows.
- Lower all the windows if they are heavily tinted.
- Turn on the interior lights if it’s dark out
Place your hands visibly on the steering wheel as the police officer approaches.
- Keep your hands on the steering wheel until you are instructed otherwise, such as to retrieve the documents requested.
Before reaching into your glove box or console to retrieve your proof of insurance or driver’s license, inform the officer of where the items are located and follow the officer’s directions.
Drivers who transport handguns in their vehicles are encouraged to keep them in a separate location from license and insurance documentation.
- If you have your concealed carry permit and are legally armed, consult an attorney in your home state so that you know the laws prior to getting pulled over.
- However, most states advise you to let the police officer know immediately if there is a firearm in the vehicle.
Follow the police officer’s instructions.
Return to the road safely.
- After the police office says it’s alright to leave, buckle your seat belt and carefully merge back into traffic.
Related – How to avoid road rage
These tips are from US LawShield.
“Traffic stops are one of the most common encounters that people have with law enforcement,” said Kirk Evans, president of U.S. LawShield.
“Educating yourself on what steps to take at every traffic stop helps keep you safe and lets the police officer know you are being compliant. Knowing your rights as well as your responsibilities under the law is incredibly important. Some states require you to notify law enforcement that you’re armed at the beginning of the traffic stop, while other states require that you only disclose that information if asked directly. Knowing these laws prior to getting pulled over is crucial.”
About U.S. LawShield
Founded in 2009, U.S. LawShield, America’s premier Legal Defense for Self-Defense® organization, offers coverage in 46 states and has served more than 2 million members.
A network of 200+ Independent Program Attorneys is readily available, plus access to a full-time 24/7/365 hotline and protection for members throughout the legal process after acts of self-defense.
Educate. Prepare. Protect.™ U.S. LawShield is committed to informing and updating you on self-defense laws, providing comprehensive instruction and training, and defending you in your greatest time of need. For more information on U.S. LawShield and its Legal Defense for Self Defense program, visit uslawshield.com.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and author of guidebooks and smartphone apps – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter currently serves as President of the International Motor Press Assn. (IMPA), a former Board Member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and a current member of the North American Travel Journalists Assn. (NATJA).
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright (C) Evelyn Kanter