How to stay poised and confident during a traffic stop

You are casually driving along when you suddenly notice red and blue lights behind you. Getting pulled over can make anyone feel a bit uneasy. However, if you have practiced how to respond in this situation, you can maintain your poise and respond to authorities with confidence.

The worst thing you can do is to react with anger or appear standoffish and non-compliant. Following instructions, answering questions respectfully and staying calm are much more effective ways to handle your situation.

Practice caution and compliance

While you may feel your heart speed up a bit when you first notice the flashing lights, make it your priority to pull over as safely as possible. Observe traffic laws and find a place to pull over that is far enough from the road to allow other cars to pass safely. Put your vehicle in “park.”

You will need to gather your current vehicle registration, any applicable safety and emissions documents, your vehicle insurance information and your driver’s license. According to State Farm look for indications like a marked car or a badge to verify the authenticity of the person at your window. Follow his or her instructions and respond to inquiries with respect.

Contesting a ticket

If you disagree with the reason you received a ticket, you have the right to ask for an explanation. However, once provided, you should refrain from pushing back and opt to contest it later on. Do not make the mistake of allowing too much time to elapse between receiving the ticket and contacting traffic court. When asking for leniency on your ticket, make sure you have adequate evidence to support your claim.

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