Drivers never welcome the sight of flashing lights and the sound of wailing sirens behind them on the road. But getting pulled over by a police officer has happened to almost every driver at one time or another. Although no one is a perfect driver 100 percent of the time, there are lots of precautions you can take to reduce your risk of getting pulled over and issued a costly ticket. These are the top five reasons that drivers get pulled over on the road.
By far, speeding is the most common reason that drivers get pulled over on the road. Surveys of police officers around the country have revealed that stopping speeding drivers is always a top priority. When you’re in a hurry, it’s important to remember that speed limits aren’t just arbitrary rules; they’re carefully researched and designed with your safety in mind. Statistics show that for every 100 speeding tickets issued each month, there are at least 14 fewer auto crashes and five fewer auto accident-related injuries.
Police officers frequently pull drivers over because the tint on their windows is too dark, because a headlight is out, and because a windshield is broken. Equipment violations are easy for police officers to spot from a distance, making violators easy targets for ticketing fines. These violations can also lead to additional tickets if you haven’t renewed your license, your registration isn’t up to date, of if you’ve been drinking.
Improper Lane Changes
Police generally classify an improper lane change as cutting another vehicle off or switching lanes without looking. These are incredibly dangerous practices that often lead to accidents because they shorten drivers’ reaction time. Only use the left lane for passing, not for just cruising along, because this will catch the attention of police officers too. Failure to use turn signals can trigger a traffic stop, but usually aren’t serious enough violations to warrant a stop on their own.
Another dangerous driving practice that often grabs the attention of police officers is tailgating. During days of good weather when visibility is high and the roads are dry, use the “three second rule” as a standard. Select a fixed point along the road and make sure that at least three seconds pass between the time the vehicle in front of you passes it and when your vehicle passes it. Allow an even greater following distances when it’s raining, snowing, foggy, and at night.
Cell Phone Use
Whether you’re calling, texting, emailing, or using a GPS app, cell phone use is another big reason that drivers get pulled over. Laws vary from state to state, but no matter what state you are driving in, cell phone use is never a good idea. The most common reason that police officers issue citations for texting and driving is because of the effects of distracted driving, such as swerving and erratic lane changes.