Over the past decade or so, the rules of the road have stayed consistent. From speed limits to markings on the pavement, the guidelines for driving are instilled to prevent car accidents and pedestrian accidents. Unfortunately, accidents can still happen. In many cases, police officers are required to conduct traffic stops when they identify driving behaviors that could cause harm to the drivers and others on the road. Learn more below about the common reasons cars are pulled over for traffic stops. 


Designed with the intent to balance road safety and in some cases for environmental concerns, speed limits are implemented everywhere. Unfortunately, some people can intentionally or unintentionally ignore the posted speed limit. This action can result in a variety of serious accidents including rear ending another car, striking a pedestrian and mishandling a sharp turn resulting in a major car accident. The speed limit is there for a reason, it’s no wonder that driving over the speed limit remains a common cause for car accidents according to the car accident attorneys at Roberts & Spiegel. 

Improper Lane Changes

The lines painted on the street are not only for decoration, but to keep the flow of traffic organized. Improper lane changes can happen if a person wants to get around the car in front of them, do not use a turn signal, need to make a U-turn, or is simply not paying attention to the road ahead of them. If a police officer spots an improper lane change, they are required to pull the vehicle over due to the potential of sideswiping another vehicle or causing an accident in multiple lanes.

Cell Phone Use

In 2001, states began creating laws to ban drivers from using cell phones while operating a motor vehicle. The combination of taking eyes off of the road to dial or check the caller ID while also removing hands from the wheel can have deadly consequences. If a driver is spotted holding a cellphone while driving or making obvious movements to suggest they are texting while driving, a police officer can pull over the car for a traffic stop.

Running a Red Light

Traffic lights are supposed to keep traffic running smoothly by allowing cars to take turns as to when they should stop and proceed. Running a red light can cause a major car accident, with the potential for T-bone accidents, as well as head-on and rear-end accidents. If a driver is seen going through a red-light, they can be pulled over and issued a citation for putting not only themselves in danger, but the drivers and pedestrians on the road. 

Erratic or Aggressive Driving

Swerving, tailgating, and sudden stops are all signs of erratic or aggressive driving. This type of driving can not only be the cause for a major accident, but it can also create a heightened sense of anxiety in other drivers. These anxious feelings can cause people to react more suddenly than usual, such as slamming on their breaks, and result in a multi-car accident. If a police officer spots a car pulling out recklessly into traffic or swerving between lanes and cars, they have a valid cause to pull the vehicle over and assess the driver.

Many people forget that driving is a privilege, not a right. It’s important to uphold the laws while operating a motor vehicle to not only keep themselves safe, but the people around them. Stop signs, traffic lights, and lines on the road are all necessary in maintaining a safe environment for both drivers and pedestrians.