Why do police touch your car when pulling you over?

If you’ve been pulled over, your heart is likely racing a million miles a minute, causing you to feel anxious and nervous. The cop touching your car's back will likely send more alarm to your body.

We will be examining the top 3 reasons that cops pull over cars in traffic stops. You will also find useful wisdom and instructions for next time that you are pulled over. We hope this never happens.

Índice de Contenido
  1. How can police touch the back of your car?
    1. 1. Secure Trunk
    2. 2. Get Test Results And distraction
    3. 3. Leave Fingerprints
  2. The Things to Do If a Cop Pulls you Over
    1. 1. Stay Safe
    2. 2. Put Car in Park
    3. 3. Keep Calm
    4. 4. Follow the Instructions
    5. 5. Remain Civil
    6. 6. Sign the Citation
  3. Questions
    1. Why are police allowed to leave their cars running?
    2. How do you respond if an officer pulls your car over?
    3. How can I avoid being stopped?

How can police touch the back of your car?

To ensure your trunk is safe, the police will touch it first. This is to make sure that nobody is trying to get out of the car. A cop may also be able to tell if the car's back is tapped. This can reveal a lot about how nervous the driver or occupants are. Finally, it puts the cop’s fingerprints on the car, just in case there’s a problem later. 

1. Secure Trunk

Many of us don’t realize how much danger the law enforcement officers are in every day, but they do. They are constantly on alert and assessing their surroundings to make sure safety. This is not just for the officer's safety but for that of any violators. They can check that the trunk has not been removed by touching the rear of the vehicle. A criminal could also be lurking in the trunk waiting to shock the police. 

When two cops work together, they will frequently check your trunk and move toward your windows. This process is done to ensure the driver doesn’t pull out a weapon or do anything else dangerous while the other cop is checking the trunk. 

2. Get Test Results And distraction

It’s the job of the cop to find out your state of mind. The police officer must get you back on the roads so that the city is held responsible for any incidents after your departure. The cops will want to see if your vehicle is a place for prohibited substances or violations. You may try to conceal it as quickly as possible, but the officer will be looking for these behaviors. 

Many drivers aren’t prepared for the sound the tap makes. It can cause them to stop what they are doing, allowing the cop to get additional time and see what’s going on. 

According to police, this has led to an increase of impaired drivers being arrested and a rise in sellers who were charged with selling prohibited substances. It also leads the cops to arrest more people for possessing unlicensed firearms. However, when the cop uses one hand to touch the back of vehicles, they are putting themselves at a little more risk because they don’t have both hands ready for defense. 

3. Leave Fingerprints

The final reason that cops touch the trunk or tail light is to leave behind the officer’s fingerprints. If the officer was involved in a dangerous situation, the interaction between the cop and the driver of the car can be tracked back to fingerprints at the crime scene.

These fingerprints on the rear of the vehicle are only helpful if there’s a criminal investigation because of the traffic stop. Still, there’s a chance that the fingerprints can get smudged or washed away by the rain, so this method isn’t foolproof. 

Today, however, officers cars come with dash cams. Officers in police have body cams, so the cameras will prove their interaction with the car in case something would happen, so it’s more of a thing of the past but many police officers still use the method.

The Things to Do If a Cop Pulls you Over

1. Stay Safe

Safety should be your first concern. It is okay to pull over but you must make sure it's safe. Try to find a well-lit parking lot that’s busy. 

Slow down the car and use your flashers to indicate that you are attempting to go a short distance. This lets the cop know that you are trying to get to a safer location but aren’t ignoring their request. 

2. Put Car in Park

After you have gotten off the road, park the car. You should also shut off the engine so the police officer knows you don’t intend to go anywhere.

You want to stay still after you have closed the window. You don’t want to give the cop any reason to worry about their safety. You can place your hands at the wheel so they are easily visible. 

3. Keep Calm

Take a deep breathe and let go while the cop waits. There’s nothing to be worried about if you aren’t doing anything illegal or have any illegal substances in the car. 

Most times, the officer will issue you either a warning notice or a ticket. Then you can continue your journey. In the greater scheme of things, this traffic stop isn’t life-changing. 

4. Follow the Instructions

Pay attention to what the cop says when you approach them. Never speak except when asked.

You will be asked for your driver’s license and car registration, along with the insurance information. You will need to provide these information to police. Once that is done, you can take your hand back from the wheel. 

RELATED: 10 Tips for Beginners in Car Driving (Driving Licence Tips)

5. Remain Civil

Even if the police officer isn’t kind to you, it’s important to remain respectful. There’s no reason to argue with the cop, as nothing will be changed on the road.

Your only defence is in court. You will have your opportunity. All statements made to police officers are admissible at court. 

6. Sign the Citation

You can sign the citation once it has been given to you. When you sign a citation, you aren’t admitting to guilt. You simply acknowledge that you were given it. However, you can choose to either pay or dispute the invoice in court.

There’s no reason to make the police officer stand there any longer than necessary because you are just putting them at risk. Be respectful, and get the citation. You can then move on to your day without any further complications. Don’t prolong the stop unnecessarily. 


Why are police allowed to leave their cars running?

Many police cars have a lot of equipment. Sometimes, the equipment draws a lot of power. It is important to keep the engine running so that it doesn't get drained. A dead battery is not something they need in an emergency.

How do you respond if an officer pulls your car over?

The United States requires that you always drive on the right side. You and the officer are both at risk if you stop on the highway's middle. Turn your flashers on or use the right turn signal to let them know you are searching for a safer place. If it’s a very wide road it’s considered quite safe and you should stop immediately. Check your state’s laws before to be sure.

How can I avoid being stopped?

There is no way to prevent being pulled over. However, it's possible for motorists to improve their odds by obeying the law and driving safely. By following the law, and driving safely, your chance of being stopped is reduced. Use your turn signals and pay attention to your surroundings. Remain polite with police officers if you're pulled over.

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