Police Reveal 4 Common Ways to Get Pulled Over

Here’s what not to do if you want to avoid that next traffic ticket.

Common ways to get pulled over

We’ve all seen it — someone changing lanes without signaling. Or a person driving while texting. And, if we’re honest, maybe we’ve even been that person. Nobody’s perfect. But when you’re trying to avoid being pulled over (which most of us are), it helps to know more about those bad driving habits we’ve all been (admittedly) guilty of at some point.

Edmunds.com polled 3 police agencies to get an idea of the most common driving no-no’s that cops encounter.

So, in the ongoing interest of helping us all become model motorists, here’s what Johnny Law had to say:


(pulled over because you can’t drive 55 … in a 35 mph zone)

In the Edmunds survey, every cop surveyed listed stopping speeding drivers as a main priority. So why do police officers key in on speeders? Well, issuing speeding tickets has a huge impact on safety. For every 100 extra speeding citations given in a month, there are 14.3 fewer crashes and 5.6 fewer injuries.

Point is, if your need for speed gets the better of you, be prepared to put your money where your lead foot is — a whopping 34 million speeding tickets are handed out each year in the U.S.

Distracted driving

(pulled over because you’re texting, emailing, eating, and driving)

The police officers surveyed say their main reasons for giving distracted-driving tickets include illegal texting and driving or other dangerous cell phone use. And with good reason, too. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a stunning 40 percent of U.S. teens admit to having been in a car while the driver used a cell phone in an endangering way. We don’t know about you, but it seems this phenomenon can’t get enough police intervention.

Equipment violations

(pulled over because those windows are just a bit too dark)

Equipment offenses are easy bait for tickets because they’re so simple to spot. A police officer doesn’t have to make any judgments about the situation. Rather, he or she can simply see that something isn’t up to code and make a move. According to the cops surveyed, the most glaring violation (pun intended) was illegal window tints. Following that were burned-out lights, broken windshields, and expired license plate tags.

Tailgating and improper lane changes

(pulled over because you’re bound to cause an accident)

These 2 violations ranked as equally important on the Edmunds study. Both are reckless maneuvers that cops said they monitor closely. One police officer even qualified exactly what he thinks is considered a dangerous lane change: cutting someone off or moving without looking.

Using the left lane for cruising instead of passing, driving too slowly, and squealing your tires are also high on the list.

Use common sense

When reviewing these offenses, it’s not exactly a surprise that they attract attention. True, you can’t control what other people will do on the road. But you can control yourself. So next time you notice you’re about to fall into one of these habits, think about the repercussions. Safe driving is good for you and everyone else on the road.

Want to learn how these driving no-no’s can impact your car insurance? Check out our moving violations insight center. And if you do get pulled over by the police, remain calm and remember these 8 useful tips.

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269 Responses to “Police Reveal 4 Common Ways to Get Pulled Over”

  1. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    kit hudson
    May 17, 2015 #

    In the Lexington, KY area….even the cop cars are very guilty of speeding with NO lights …. AND …. not using turn signals. It's just ridiculous when cops won't even obey traffic laws.

  2. The interstates are designed for higher speeds than are posted (anyone else remember the Jimmy Carter 55 mph years??). And before all the other cops on here start to bellyache- I was LE once upon a time myself. Much of what is done with traffic laws is about revenue but not all of it.

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      June 16, 2015 #

      And your point is what?

      • Avatar for Alex Glenn
        Scott Morgan
        June 21, 2015 #

        Richard Nixon (Republican) imposed the 55 mph speed limit in 1974.

      • Avatar for Alex Glenn
        June 23, 2015 #

        I don't think that was the point.

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      June 26, 2015 #

      You are EXACTLY right ! Why do you think it's easier to beat a felony charge, than a misdemeanor like speeding ? Revenue Enhancement ! Why does a single police cruiser, with a single cop in it, have multiple radar & laser speed-detection devices in it, pointing out in several directions ? Revenue Enhancement ! Why are police cars ordered & built as some of the fastest & most high-performance cars on the highways ? Why are some police cruisers ordered & built as "unmarked "?
      Why do insurance companies donate so many thousands of their rate-payers' dollars to police departments earmarked for speed enforcement ? That's right … It's all about Revenue Enhancement ! The local jurisdictions rake it in from sometimes questionable tactics & methods surrounding speed-related enforcement, and thereby revenue enhancement. And of course, the insurance companies recover that donated money by jacking their customers' rates up after the issuance
      of such a revenue-enhancing speeding ticket! And then, the insurance companies, and the cops, wonder why, oh why, do the taxpayers lack complete trust & confidence in them?!?!

  3. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    May 28, 2015 #

    Professional commercial driver here: My trained opinion… FOLLOW THE LAW… it may not be your own neighborhood; however, it is someone's… Treat other drivers exactly as you want them to treat you, your spouse, your children or grandparents! Don't think your driving skills are better than others… They are not! I see the wrecks daily caused by embiciles who think they are superb drivers… The highway deaths are for all to see on the electronic billboards… Or the thousands of highway memorials to dead family members and friends! Drive safely! The life you save may well be your own or your loved ones!

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      August 9, 2015 #

      Amen… cnijack!! the simplest solution is always the best …

  4. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    June 20, 2015 #

    Or just because it's revenue enhancement!

  5. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    June 20, 2015 #

    Or because it's revenue enhancement!

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Johnny Smithers
      July 13, 2015 #

      Sounds like you have donated quite a few dollars. Considering the cops don't see any return on this "revenue enhancement" I really don't see the validity in your statements. Cities actually lose money when people fight tickets because almost ALL of the money goes to the state. But believe what you think.

  6. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    Michael Peters
    June 22, 2015 #

    Speaking of billboards, all the excessive billboards on the highways constitute a major distraction. They are put there deliberately for drivers to read and therefore pull drivers' attention from the traffic in front of them. I guess safety is a clear second in priority when it comes to advertisers making money.

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      August 11, 2015 #

      You are so right! Talk about distracted driving. The worse ones are the ones with glaring LED lights flashing and rolling in your face and you cNt see the road.

  7. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    July 16, 2015 #

    the revenue enhancement part of law enforcement is morally ambiguous. I think it is picking low hanging fruit myself.

  8. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    Jim Ridgway
    August 10, 2015 #

    What irritates me is drivers cutting in front at the last second while slowing and approaching a light, then standing on the brakes —- especially when I am towing my 7 ton 5th wheel and can't stop quickly.

  9. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    Lawrence Morris
    August 12, 2015 #

    My comment deals with the HOV lanes. In TN they have them coming and going into and out of Nashville but law enforcement does not enforce them. My point is if you have laws on the books enforce them, if your not going to enforce them do away with them as nobody pays attention to the HOV lanes.

  10. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    August 23, 2015 #

    Texting, talking on phone, eating is not against the law in Texas.

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      keagan guth
      August 26, 2015 #

      It shoild be. Might even save a life or two.

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