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In the world of driving, there are generally two kinds of people: those who have received tickets, and those who will. You were once a bubbly young teenager with a new driver’s license, the open road, and hands at ten and two. You now drive to work every day with one eye open and one hand on the coffee.

Somehow it’s become drudgery to cruise along at 50 mph, and it can be easy to get distracted. An report shows that poor driving habits like speeding, sudden lane changes, and distracted driving, are bound to get the attention of the law eventually. While it may be difficult to change the monotony of your morning commute, you can reduce the likelihood of being pulled over by avoiding any of these red flags that scream ‘pull me over!’

Tinted windows

Of course, tinted windows look cool, but what’s really going on in there, anyway? Windows with dark tint are a cop magnet, signaling that not only is your car outside of legal limits, but you’ve probably got something to hide. Police love an easy target, and cars with excessive tint are a quick spot on the highway.

Every state in the country has laws that regulate the amount and style of tint that’s legal for cars. Some allow tint by percentage, others regulate the amount of coverage in inches, or where the tint can start and stop on a window. Some states allow back windows to be tinted but not front windows.

It can be confusing, so it’s worthwhile to check out your state’s laws and know where you stand. If buying a used car, the tint may be illegal already. Basic inspection stations should have equipment that can test your tint for you to determine if it’s legal.


Car bumper stickers
Car bumper stickers can help cops notice you | Getty Images

What? I can get pulled over for stickers? Well, not exactly; no more than you can get picked for a basketball team by being 7 foot 3. It’s not a sure thing, but it’s where the smart money is.

It’s not an exact science, but there is a logic to it: Safe drivers are responsible, responsible people take care of their cars, people who take care of their cars don’t wallpaper them with stickers. While you technically won’t get pulled over because of the stickers (hopefully), you will definitely be seen. So if you’re trying to minimize the chances of being pulled over, drawing attention to yourself is not a very good idea.

On the other hand, if you just can’t help telling the world that your kid is an honor student, you love puppies, and who you voted for in the last 17 elections, you may have enough stickers on the window to cause a genuine safety concern, resulting in a ticket. Maybe you should start a scrapbook, instead.

It’s not your living room

We like to personalize our cars. They cost a lot of money, we spend lots of time in them, so it’s nice to add some personal touches to make it your own. But it’s not your living room. You probably should take down the mini-chandelier hanging from the rearview mirror. And while you’re at it, the small army of bobbleheads doing the hula in the back windshield? They can wait at home. These are sure signs that you’re not paying attention to driving, and police will start paying attention to you.

Many of us work hard to stand out in a crowd, to be known and recognized. Behind the wheel is not the place for such efforts. Out here where the traffic’s fast and the radar guns are faster, it’s best to keep a low profile and let someone else do the showboating.