Don’t you hate when you’re driving along and all of a sudden a cop pulls into your lane and is right on your heels? This always makes me nervous as hell and suddenly super cautious of my driving skills. Little mistakes can happen when you’re nervous with a cop on your tail, so you need to keep your calm to avoid being the one who gets pulled over.
First of all, it helps to not automatically assume the cop is “following” you. You just might be the lucky one he pulled behind, going the same direction as you for several miles before getting off your tail. Don’t automatically start thinking they’re running your plates and looking for a reason to pull you over. They may just simply be driving behind you and that’s it.
However, don’t give them a reason to pull you over by constantly checking your rear view mirror, hitting your breaks to maintain EXACTLY 35 MPH, or being too nervous to put on your blinker to change lanes. For that matter, don’t change lanes immediately as soon as a cop is behind you to get away from them, as this may raise enough suspicion to turn on their lights and pull you over. Continue driving as you were before you noticed the cop behind you, and just be confident that you have no reason to be overly cautious.
Don’t freak out. I’ve been pulled over before because I was so busy watching the cop behind me and maintaining my speed that I was all over my lane and guess what? I got pulled over. The cop wanted to know why I was swerving slightly, and I was honest: he made me nervous. He ran my plates, checked my license and cleared me with a warning to just relax when there are cops on the road, because they’re not out to hound us down for no reason.
If you’re not wearing your seat belt, it’s a tricky situation. If you put it on and the cop sees you do it, he may pull you over for not wearing your seat belt like you should have been. If you don’t put your seat belt on because you’re hoping he won’t notice you have neglected to wear your seat belt, you may get unlucky and get pulled over because he may see you without one. The best way to not raise suspicion is to just drive normally and have your seat belt on to begin with so you don’t have this situation to try to avoid to begin with.
Get off your cell phone and focus on the road. If the cop behind you sees you checking yourself out in your driver mirror or chatting on your cell phone, it may draw his attention and give him reason to pull you over. Likewise, don’t try to “lose” the cop just because you’re nervous or else you may see him turning into the parking lot behind you and now what? Go back out into traffic and raise the cop’s awareness that you may be up to no good?
You’re best bet if you have a cop driving behind you is to just be a cautious, yet casual driver, just like you normally are. Try to just treat his presence behind you no different than you would any other driver, and remain calm and focused on the road. If you have no reason to be pulled over, and if you don’t give the cop one, you should be just fine.