That moment when you are driving and see flashing lights in your rearview mirror and know that you are being pulled over can always be a bit unnerving. Despite your best efforts to be a safe and mindful driver in Pennsylvania, there will undoubtedly be times when you make mistakes that could result in you being summoned to the side of the road. In these situations, your knowledge of how to behave can be helpful in diffusing tension and helping you to remain calm and confident. 

First and foremost, when dealing with the authorities, always be respectful, kind and friendly. Refrain from acting defensively or getting frustrated and impatient. These kinds of behaviors, while potentially natural in your situation, can almost incriminate yourself if you begin to appear guilty and noncompliant. 

According to TIME, if you are asked to exit your vehicle, you can refuse to be searched or have your vehicle searched without a warrant. Keep your hands visible and continue to be calm and polite even if you disagree with what you are being told. If you are dissatisfied with how you are being treated, make sure you ask for the name of the person who pulled you over, as well as his or her badge i.d. Once you have assumed that your encounter with the authorities is over, ask if you can go before you take off. Also, you should never run away or drive away as quickly as possible. Rather, proceed cautiously back into traffic and resume driving as safely as possible.

The information in this article is intended for educational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.