While most drivers log thousands of miles behind the wheel with little or no law enforcement contact, others seem to attract flashing blue lights just by driving to the grocery store. If you are among this less fortunate group of drivers who seem to have become cop magnets, the reason may simply be due to some poor, but common driving habits that you can work on improving.
Cop Magnet 1: Driving Too Fast
Speeding is, by far, the fastest, most noticeable way to attract the attention of any law enforcement officer in the area. Driving faster than posted speed limits or driving faster than current traffic and road conditions permit slows your reaction time and makes your car a danger to others vehicles and pedestrians around you, so it makes sense that you will be targeted for driving too fast.
Tip: Slow down, obey speed limit signs and use extra caution when traffic is heavy or road conditions could be hazardous.
Cop Magnet 2: Using a Cell Phone While Driving
In most areas, using a handheld cell phone is now illegal and sure to warrant the attention of local law enforcement, as is texting.
Tip: Invest in a hands-free device, if you must take calls while driving. Even better, let calls and messages wait until you can pull off the roadway and park safely.
Cop Magnet 3: Failing to Keep the Vehicle in Good Condition
A non-working headlight, signal or tail light is considered to be a safety issue and will certainly increase your chances of being stopped by a law enforcement officer. In addition, unrepaired damage to your vehicle that could cause a hazard to you or another driver, a hanging exhaust pipe or even a faulty tire can also be reasons for a cop to stop you and alert you to the potential for these things to become a hazard.
Tip: Do a quick inspection of your car regularly and have any issues you find repaired before driving.
Cop Magnet 4: Hazardous Driving Habits
Many otherwise good drivers develop hazardous driving habits, such as rolling stops at intersections, failing to use turn signals when changing lanes, or making improper U-turns.
Tip: Take a hard look at your driving habits, or ask someone else to critique them for you, then make changes to improve them.
Cop Magnet 5: Using Improper or Careless Driving Habits
Another way to increase your chances of being stopped by a cop are careless habits such as following too closely or changing lanes improperly. Both of these habits can increase your risk of being involved in an accident.
Tip: Exercise caution behind the wheel and make it a point to concentrate on driving, traffic and road conditions every time you drive.
What to Do During a Traffic Stop
Most law enforcement stops are made to help create a safer driving environment for all drivers, and drivers should always remain calm and courteous during any traffic stop. Even if you disagree with the traffic cop's decision about any citation you are issued, it is best to be polite. If you have been issued a traffic citation or accused of drunk driving or any crime in connection with a traffic stop, talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.