How to Deal with Traffic Stops as a Teen Driver
As a teen driver, you’ve probably spent time learning about the rules of the road, but do you really know what to do if pulled over? Getting pulled over for whatever reason by the police can be scary, especially if it’s your first time.
A traffic stop can happen for a number of reasons—using your mobile device, speeding, tail lights out, distracted driving, random breath tests, speed limits going unnoticed, or suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
To prevent a potentially stressful situation, it helps to learn how to react if pulled over by law enforcement. Follow these driving tips to help keep the situation under control.
Turn on Your Hazard Lights
When getting pulled over by the police, the first thing to do is turn on the hazard lights. This signals the officers, showing them you acknowledge you are being stopped and are looking for a safe place to park your vehicle. If, for some reason, you can’t find your hazard lights, turn on your blinker to indicate your direction.
Roll Down Your Window and Switch off the Engine
Once you park your car in a safe place, roll down your window and remain still. Keep your hands on the steering wheel, and don’t do anything else at that point, such as trying to reach under your seat, into a console, glove compartment, or other hidden places.
You should also stay in the car because the officer may perceive getting out as a threat. Simply stay still and wait for the police officer to come over your window.
It’s not uncommon for teen drivers to panic and instantly get chaotic when pulled over by law enforcement. However, remember that being pulled over is nothing new, and it happens to almost everyone at some point.
Therefore, relax and take a few deep breaths. On the other hand, anger and hostility can quickly escalate things, causing an ugly situation. Whether you feel you did something wrong or not, try to stay calm, polite, and keep your answers short and simple.
Follow the Police Officer’s Instructions
Listen and follow the officer’s instructions. If you’re asked to produce your driving licence, registration, or insurance details, you should always tell the officer where these documents are before reaching out. This is especially important if you must reach into hidden areas such as a bag, back seat, or glove compartment.
If you did something wrong, own your mistake and apologise. Acknowledging your mistakes and saying sorry can be the difference between getting a simple warning and receiving that ticket. Police officers are human too, and if they know you realise your wrongdoing and are remorseful, they can be a little lenient with you.
Enrol on the Safer Drivers Course with LTrent Driving School
LTrent Driving School provides learner drivers with the tools needed to drive with confidence on Australian roads. Our professional driving instructors teach their students the necessary skills to become safe and intuitive drivers.
We offer the Safer Drivers Course for young drivers who want to learn safe driving in NSW. If you have completed 50 hours of driving in your logbook and have a learner’s licence, then this course for teen drivers is perfect for you. Book driving lessons online and get started with a skilled LTrent instructor today.