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

It's likely to happen, so advise your children what to do when pulled over by police.

A young woman is pulled over in her car and a police man is talking to her as she hands him her drivers license.

Nobody wants to get pulled over. 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 rearview mirror:

  1. Slowly pull over. Use your 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Stay calm. Talk to the officer in a calm manner to avoid escalation of the situation.
  5. Return to the road safely. Once the officer has processed your information and written a warning or ticket, and after they've said 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.

Proof of insurance

If you get pulled over, you will most likely be asked for your license, registration and proof of insurance. Are you prepared to show that information quickly? Is it at your fingertips? It's a good idea to always be prepared. You should always carry your vehicle's registration card in the glove box. As for proof of insurance, every state now accepts electronic proof of insurance on your phone using a mobile app.

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® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.
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