Even if you understand the rules of the road and do whatever you can to follow them, you’re likely to make mistakes from time to time. You might run through a stop sign or run a yellow light when you are in a hurry. Maybe your mind drifts on a long drive and you find yourself going way faster than you thought. If you do find yourself in a situation where you get pulled over for a moving violation, there are things you should and shouldn’t do.

Here are three mistakes you must absolutely avoid:

  • Getting out of your vehicle: Even if the officer is taking a while to reach your window, stay where you are. Keep your hands on the wheel and don’t do anything that could look suspicious. If you get out, the officer may assume that their safety is at risk.
  • Saying too much: For example, if the officer asks you if you know what you did wrong, simply state that you don’t know. Let them do all the talking, while you comply with their requests.
  • Trying to explain yourself or make excuses: This goes along with remaining quiet. If you make an attempt to explain why you broke the law, you’re more or less admitting that you’re guilty. And if you do that, it can work against you should you want to fight your ticket in traffic court.

These three mistakes are common, but with the right knowledge and approach you can do your part in avoiding them.

Should You Pay Your Fine?

If you receive a citation, there’s one last mistake to avoid: immediately paying the fine so you can put the situation in the past. There are times when it makes sense to pay and move on, but not before you consider all of your options.

When you pay your ticket, you admit that you broke the law. It also tells the court that you are not contesting the charge. Not only does a guilty plea to a traffic violation impact your finances, but also other consequences could come into play, such as:

  • License suspension
  • Insurance premium increase
  • Seizure of your automobile

Police are on the lookout for anyone who violates the law, which means that one day you may find yourself pulled over. If that day comes, be sure to avoid these mistakes to better protect your legal rights.