5 Things Guaranteed To Get You Pulled Over
One of the most exciting times in anyone’s life is getting their license.
It promises a sense of freedom and responsibility.
Picture it as you did when you were sixteen with a freshly minted ID: window down, music up, and hair blowing in the wind. You were finally able to be the one to drive and you finally got to blare your music each morning as you drove to school.
Ahh, to be young and sixteen again.
But then without warning, things start to go wrong. Your window’s down, music is up, and your heart’s racing. Suddenly you’re flying down the freeway without a care in the world. You weave in and out of traffic, listen to your car wheel’s screech as you hit the accelerator and then there it is: the bright lights flashing in your rearview mirror.
It’s happened to us all—the moment we realize that we’re going to be pulled over. However, not everyone is caught speeding down the freeway. In fact, many people are caught doing things that seem much less offensive, but will still get you pulled over with just as much ease. Driving safely isn’t an art, but driving unsafely is one of the easiest things to do. Take these top 5 driving mistakes that are almost guaranteed to get you pulled over at some point or another.
Driving While Distracted
In this day and age, it’s easier than ever to get distracted while driving. Cars are getting increasingly more technological, meaning that there are more gadgets and gizmos than ever to sort through. Just the other day I panicked because I couldn’t quickly find my front window defroster. Luckily, I had my husband in the car and he quickly flipped the switch for me, but otherwise I was at a loss. This of course, doesn’t even take into account the use of smart phones as we drive. Even when you’re not texting and driving, the temptation to pick up your phone and search through Facebook or Instagram quickly almost always wins out. This, in addition to searching through playlists and trying to find a song to play, increases distractions while driving leading to accidents, which is why you’ll almost always be pulled over if you’re caught doing it. Police know what they’re searching for. Much like teachers, they know you aren’t just looking down at your lap for the heck of it. Don’t be surprised to find yourself pulled over when you’re fiddling with stuff below the dashboard height, as it’s a red flag for a distracted driver.
Too Dark Window Tint
In case you didn’t know, there are actual window tinting laws in California. So, despite how cool you think they look, and no matter how dark you may actually want them, window tinting is actually a closely monitored subject in Police Departments. If you’ve put tint on your windows that is too dark and obscures your driving, you should not be surprised to see yourself getting pulled over. Window tint, when not done correctly, causes obstructions and is dangerous for not only yourself, but also those around you. Not only will you be bummed to find that the ticket you incur will require that you remove the tint, but you will be faced with a fine as well. Avoid getting pulled over for too dark windows by investing in a window tint placement from a reputed and licensed company. A certified window tinting company will give you shades that will not impede your driving, but also will ensure that it’s applied properly and with care.
Making Careless Mistakes
For those of us who have been driving for over a decade, it’s easy to become complacent. We often zone out, wondering how we made it home, not remembering making a single conscious decision to get there. Driving is such a repetitive activity that it becomes a near mindless task for people to perform. However, just because it’s become easy to us over the years does not mean that we shouldn’t strive to be more aware. Making careless mistakes while driving is often the first thing that police notice before they pull you over. Turning onto a one way street accidentally and correcting yourself, forgetting to flip on your headlights at night, or even failing to signal are all signs that you’re not paying as much attention as you ought to be. Avoid getting pulled over by making a conscious effort to remain in the present while you drive. If you feel tired or lazy before driving, reconsider your plans or have someone else drive for you. Otherwise, your careless mistake may turn into a pricey ticket, or worse even, a dangerous accident.
Much like careless driving, reckless driving is a means for getting pulled over or causing potentially life-threatening accidents. Highway patrol keeps a special eye out for lawbreakers in the form of speeders, which is often the most common ticket handed out. While going twenty over the speed limit might not seem like much to you, it’s actually still against the law. Likewise, going twenty under is just as dangerous and impedes traffic, leading to dangerous situations. If you’re driving too fast, too slow, or are a fan of tailgating and the sound that your car makes as you accelerate, then you shouldn’t be surprised to find yourself getting pulled over. Reckless driving not only puts your life in danger, but others as well.
Vehicle Not Up-To-Date
No, this doesn’t mean that you can’t continue driving that ’95 Toyota Camry, but it does mean that you need to make sure everything in your car checks out. Paperwork, stickers, and fog inspections are easy causes for fix-it tickets or worse. In California, for example, vehicle insurance is now a law, meaning that without current paperwork, you’ll find yourself with an even more expensive ticket than that $25.00 fix-it ticket. Likewise, you need to keep all registration current to avoid paying fines. The easy way for highway patrol to spot an out-of-date vehicle is to notice the incorrect date on registration stickers on the license plate. Though these stickers are frequently and easily stolen, it’s important to note that many times this will not get you out of paying a fine. Avoid this situation and being pulled over by ensuring that all of your paperwork is current and making it a habit to check your stickers each time you go in your vehicle.