We’ve all been there. You look in the rear view mirror, see those lights go on, and panic hits you. Sometimes I blank out the previous couple minutes, was I speeding? did I run a stop sign? did I make an illegal turn?
Here are some ideas to avoid getting pulled over in the first place.
1. Drive the Speed Limit. I know this is obvious, but if you aren’t running late, it might be something to seriously consider. An additional benefit of following the speed limit (versus speeding) is an increase in gas mileage. That’s a win-win reason.
2. Middle of the Pack. Need to speed? Find a group of cars going the speed you want and hang out in the middle. The first car is likely to trigger a cop radar, and the last car is likely to get pulled over first. Hanging out in the middle is a safer placer to be if you need to speed.
3. Follow a Speeder. Put some distance between you and the speeder and let him trigger the radar. The distance allows you enough time to slow down when the cop pulls out.
4. Drive a decent car. Speaking from personal experience, if you’re driving a beat-up car with the paint peeling off – cops will find a reason to pull you over. If you’re driving a decent car that blends in, you won’t draw extra attention to yourself.
5. Relax. Aggressive driving will only draw extra attention to yourself. So even if some jerk cuts you off or drives 10 under the speed limit, take a deep breath and relax. When you can safely get around the person, remind yourself to relax and avoid the old, “I’m going to teach him a lesson” philosophy.
6. Pay Attention. If you commute the same way to work every day, start paying attention. Notice where the cops sit, or where there are turnouts for cops to hide. Make note of them and slow down accordingly.
7. Leave on time. The biggest reason for speeding is that you are late. Leave on time, and enjoy your ride to your destination without the anxiety, stress, and pressure to speed.
8. Don’t drive. This is a very great way to avoid getting pulled over. By taking the bus or riding your bike, you’re helping the environment, saving money on gas, reducing traffic problems, and you’re avoiding potential traffic violations. Another win-win reason.
9. Hang Up. Or get a hands-free device. If you’re the only one on your cell phone in a pack of speeding vehicles, you just increased your chances of getting pulled over.
10. Keep your registration updated. And put the sticker on! Don’t let yourself get pulled over because you’re too lazy to put the little sticker on your car. You’ll feel like a fool when the cop walks up to your car and you have the stickers sitting next to you. That reason also comes from personal experience.
11. You’re not in the clear. Just because you see someone else pulled over doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear. Speed traps often come in pairs – it’s part of the setup. So give yourself a few miles before speeding up again.
12. Easy on the Holidays. Whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Labor Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, or any of the other number of holidays, take it easy. Cops working on holidays are probably not too happy about it. They’ll be looking for people to punish. And you don’t want that to be you.
13. Watch your back. While your scanning the road in front of you in search for cops, don’t forget to look back. You don’t want to be driving for miles with a cop behind you (and lights on).
14. Flashed. If you just got flashed (someone’s brights flashed at you) and you didn’t have your brights on, the driver might be warning you about a speed trap they just passed. Don’t risk it. Slow down and play it safe. The next time you pass a speed trap, pass the favor on.
15. Volunteer. At your local police department. Get to know the officers, let them know what your car looks like, and enjoy the advantages of your new friends. Plus you’ll be helping at your community – that will balance out that karma for your speeding and aggressive driving.
16. Seatbelt. Seat belts save lives, and in most places it’s against the law to not wear one. So be smart – buckling up could save your life and help you avoid getting pulled over. Another win-win reason.
17. Follow the Law. The BEST way to avoid getting pulled over is to follow the law, which I encourage. Keep yourself and the rest of us safe on the road by following those annoying laws. Thank You!