You see red and blue lights flashing in your rear-view mirror. You're being pulled over by the cops. What should you do?
No matter how long you've been driving, being pulled over by the cops will probably freak you out. In most cases, it's for speeding, a traffic violation, expired plates, or something like a burned-out headlight. Sure, it's usually not good news, but it happens. So just stay calm.
Get over to the right side of the road.
Don't stop in the middle of the road, don't pull to the left — the right side of the road is the safest place for both you and the cop. Go there.
Get your stuff together.
The cop will ask you for your driver's license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. This would not be a good time to try and remember where this stuff is. Keep it handy, like in the glove compartment or your wallet.
Stay in your car.
If you get out of the car, the cop might see that as a threat, and trust us, you don't want to go down that road. Stay put — the cop will come to you. You should only get out of the car if the cop asks you to. If they think you've been drinking, they may ask you to take a sobriety test or use a Breathalyzer. Just do what you're asked to do.
Don't pick a fight.
The cop will tell you why you were pulled over. Okay, so maybe the cop will be obnoxious and say something like, "Do you know what you just did?" or "Do you know how fast you were going?" while shining a flashlight in your face. This is not the time to start arguing. Just answer the questions as truthfully as you can.
Crying is for the weak.
Seriously, the cop won't be any more sympathetic if you start sobbing uncontrollably. Forget all of the urban legends you've heard — this is not a good way to try and avoid a ticket.
Don't be afraid to suck up!
There's a fine line between being respectful and sucking up — cross it! Refer to the cop as "officer" when speaking, and be meek. One whiff of attitude from you, and you're toast.
I said, stay in the car.
After the cop gathers your license and everything, he or she will go back and sit in the cop car with the lights flashing for what seems like an eternity. It's actually only a few minutes while they run your info through the computer. So just chill already.
Take the ticket and be on your way.
Whatever your ticket is for, take it and move on. If you don't agree with it, you have the right to dispute it in traffic court. And once you're on the road, don't let the fact that you're pissed off be an excuse for driving like an idiot. You could get pulled over again. It happens.