Nothing can put that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach like the moment you realize you are being pulled over by a police officer when you are driving your vehicle.
“Was I speeding? Did I run that stop sign?” Thoughts are racing through your mind as you pull to the shoulder of the road. You’ll find out pretty quickly once you speak to the officer, but in general, there are a few offenses that are more likely than others to get you pulled over.
What are the top reasons driver get pulled over by police?
- Speeding: No matter how safe you think you are driving, driving above the speed limit is a serious offense. Officers know that the faster you are driving, the longer it takes to respond to a hazard in the road, like a child or a dog who runs out in the street, or another car that slams on its brakes directly in front of you. Also, the faster you are going, the longer it takes for your car to come to a complete stop if you push the brakes. Experts who study traffic laws and traffic stops say drivers can somewhat expect to be safe if they keep their speeds within 5 mph of the posted speed limit, but even then, there’s no guarantee that an officer won’t pull you over even if you are only going a few miles over the speed limit.
- Texting and driving: Louisiana is one of more than 30 states with a law that bans text messaging while driving. Yet one look around while you’re on the road will show that many people still ignore the law and continue to text while behind the wheel. Not only will you endanger your life and the lives of those around you, if you are caught texting and driving you could be slapped with a $500 fine for your first offense. Just do yourself a favor and pull over if you need to send a text message.
- Equipment malfunctions (broken headlight, etc.): Burned out headlights and taillights, broken turn signals, tinted windows, huge cracks on your windshield. These, among other infractions, are all really good ways to get pulled over by the police. Keep your car in good working order to avoid a ticket.
- Following too closely or improper lane changes: Although there are lots of instances of hazardous driving that can get you pulled over (don’t change your clothes while you’re driving in traffic!), following too closely and improper lane changes are big no-nos, according to police officers. That’s because these two in particular are more known for causing accidents, as it is harder to brake when you are following too closely, and you risk cutting off other drivers when you change lanes improperly.