What drivers should be ready to do if they are pulled over

Pulled Over: What Should Drivers Do to be Ready?

Teen driver at the wheel just getting pulled over.

Nobody wants to get pulled over but, if you do, here is what you might do.

Getting pulled over can be stressful and scary for drivers. If new to this situation, consider following these steps when you see flashing lights in your rear view mirror:

  • Slowly Pull Over
    Use the turn signal and proceed to a safe location along the right side of the road. If the location seems dangerous, continue driving until you find a safe, well-lit place to stop, but turn on your hazard lights to indicate you see the officer. As long as it's clear that you intend to pull over, most officers will understand.
  • Be Wary of Unmarked Vehicles
    If the officer is driving an unmarked vehicle, don't be afraid to question their validity. You can call 911 to verify that the unmarked vehicle pulling you over is an on-duty officer. Or, ask to see the officer's badge and photo ID. If the officer won't present it, request to call another officer. Always call 911 if the situation appears to be threatening or unsafe.
  • Follow the Officer's Instructions
    Roll down the window and place both hands on the wheel. Do exactly what the officer asks, including providing your license and registration once requested. Alert the officer before reaching into the backseat, the glove compartment, or into a purse or other bag.
  • Stay Calm
    Talk to the officer in a calm manner to avoid escalation of the situation.
  • Return to the Road Safely
    Once the officer has processed your information and written a warning or ticket, and after they have verbally told you you may leave, put on your turn signal and look for oncoming traffic. Merge slowly onto the road when it’s safe. Always remember to buckle up, a fine for not wearing your seat belt is one less thing you should have to worry about.

For employee drivers and CDL Drivers

Be prepared to quickly provide the officer with your commercial driver’s license (CDL), vehicle registration, bills of lading, and a driver log book.

Be sure to read more driving safety tips, and learn how you could save money on your auto insurance with State Farm® by following the rules of the road.


The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

Neither State Farm® nor its agents provide tax or legal advice.