Why do Cops Touch the Back of your Car | 3 Reasons Explained

Why do Cops Touch the Back of your Car?

Why do cops touch the back of your car? This question is quite popular among drivers today. Thus, we have made this post to aid you. Nobody enjoys having those red and blue lights following them flashing. If you’ve ever gotten stopped, you may have observed that when the officer approached your vehicle, they patted its rear. As it turns out, police enforcement often uses this tactic, but why?

Almost everyone who operates a vehicle may sometimes see those blue lights flashing in their side mirror. In addition to the indicator informing you that you should pull over, there is also this. It could frighten some folks. However, the likelihood is that you will merely get a speeding penalty.

Police officers commonly request a driver’s license and registration during police stops. However, more discerning motorists could have picked up on odd police practices. When approaching your window, police often touch or tap the rear of your automobile. Therefore, we address the query “Why do police touch the rear of your automobile” for those interested. Join us as we discuss this below.

When do Police Officers Pull over a Person in a Car?

Why do Cops Touch the Back of your Car

Law enforcement officers perform traffic stops in the US to investigate potential crimes. Officers pull over a car if they have grounds to think the driver has broken a traffic or automobile law.

Speeding is the primary cause of traffic stops. If the police believe there has been criminal behavior, they may check the vehicle, the driver, and the occupants to look for weapons or illegal items. The motorist could be taken into custody if the police discover enough proof.

When the police stop you, they want to ensure you are not operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Your driver’s license, registration, and insurance proof will get requested. They’ll also inquire about your use of alcohol or other substances.

They will do a breathalyzer or blood test if they think you are intoxicated. If your blood alcohol level is higher than the permitted limit, this will assist them in deciding what to do with you.

If the policeman judges, there is no evidence to suggest you were intoxicated and were racing. They will issue you a citation and let you go on your way.

Why do Cops Touch the Back of your Car?

Why do Cops Touch the Back of your Car

Police may touch the rear of your automobile for several important reasons, including:

1. A security mechanism for the cop

Police officers used to get instructed to touch the automobile’s rear as they drew near it to leave their fingerprints there. This served as a safety net in case anything went wrong.

For instance, a criminal may attempt to flee if they believe they will be apprehended, possibly for a massacre or other major crime. By this time, there would have been some proof connecting the police officer to that car.

The offender can contend that the automobile was not close to the officer or the murder scene if the police officer was afterward murdered or suffered severe injuries. The fingerprint on the car’s rear would later disprove this claim.

Naturally, fingerprints are removable with soap and water and rapidly fade in sunshine, rain, etc. But at least it would provide other cops with something to look for.

Why do they still do it?

Everything here is excellent and makes sense. But at a time when every motorist has a dashboard camera, and every police officer has a body cam, why do cops still do it?

Since these modern technologies are relatively new, older cops could do it out of habit. For instance, if you’ve been doing something that way for 15 years, you could discover that old habits are difficult to break. Additionally, it still provides you with a piece of proof if all other methods fail.

2. To frighten offenders

Police personnel touch automobiles as a method of surprising prospective criminals, which is another justification. Additionally, when the officer draws near, this will interfere with whatever they may be doing.

Imagine somebody in the vehicle trying to cover up something they don’t want the policeman to see, like a stockpile of narcotics. Someone can be momentarily perplexed if they hear a sudden tap on the back of the automobile.

Just long enough for the policeman to notice whatever the motorist was attempting to conceal. However, the tap would have no impact on any innocent drivers.

This might not have been successful as well. However, because the police officer is unsure of what to anticipate, it is a ploy worth attempting to offer them a slight advantage.

3. To “feel out” the scenario

Getting a sense of the situation is one more justification for a police officer touching your vehicle’s rear as we’ve already said, the police officer is unsure about how the incident will turn up. The motorist is usually an ordinary, law-abiding individual who may have just exceeded the speed limit marginally.

But everything comes down to numbers. One of the motorists will ultimately have something to conceal if the police officer pulls over 100, or even 1,000, vehicles. Others will act unpredictably. Because of this, when police officers near automobiles, they train their senses to look for any indications that anything is amiss.

They could detect odd movements in the automobile by touching it. It might just be the family dog, after all. However, until the cop is sure of that, minute clues like movement might alert a veteran officer to the need to keep watch.

Again, the police officer may not learn anything new by briefly touching a car’s rear. But if it happens once in a hundred, it may raise warning flags. The difference may determine whether you get out of it safely or get hurt or killed. Remember, you might only get pulled over sometimes. But that happens every day for the policeman.

Leaving a Fingerprint

One of the most commonly cited reasons is that the officer leaves a fingerprint on the vehicle. This is evidence that the officer approached and interacted with that specific vehicle. If something happened to the officer during the stop, such as an assault or the driver fleeing the scene, there would be a tactile record of the officer’s presence at that specific vehicle.

Stability and Balance

Approaching a vehicle, especially on the side of a busy road, can be hazardous. By touching the back of the car, the officer has an extra point of contact, which can help stabilize themselves if they’re on uneven terrain or if a gust of wind from a passing vehicle pushes them.

Distraction Technique

This light touch can serve as a distraction for the vehicle’s occupants. The gesture may catch the driver or passengers off-guard or distract them momentarily, reducing the likelihood of them making sudden movements or trying to hide illicit items.

Checking for a Trunk Release

Especially in older vehicle models, a trunk might not be securely latched or have a manual release mechanism. By touching the back of the car, an officer can ensure that the trunk is secure, ensuring no one is hiding inside or that no illicit goods are easily accessible.

Assessing the Engine’s Temperature

When someone drives a car recently, the rear, especially near the tailpipe, becomes warm. This warmth allows the officer to estimate how long someone parked the car in a particular spot. This knowledge is especially useful when a vehicle appears suspiciously parked or when an officer responds to a recent incident and needs to determine the car’s involvement.

Frequently Asked Questions

What issues do police probe during a traffic stop?

The police will request your driving license, registration, and proof of insurance. They’ll also inquire about your origin and final destination.

The police could also ask for your mobile number. Cops may let you proceed immediately if you are heading to urgent work or visiting someone in the hospital.

Is a reason required for the police to haul you over?

No, is the response. The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution forbids using illegal search and seizure by police officers. Evidence gathered by a warrantless search or seizure is not admissible in court.

The police, however, are free to pull over a vehicle for whatever reason they deem appropriate. If you get stopped at night, there are also distinct regulations. Regardless of how you’re driving, they have the right to stop you at any time. But before they may search your automobile, they must have a solid basis to believe you did anything criminal.

Who do police pull over, and why?

Police officers search for possible criminal actions when they are on duty. If they see somebody driving too fast, they could opt to stop them. They are also likely to stop lane-swerving motorists or not using their seatbelts.

Whatever the officer’s motivations, it doesn’t matter whether the motorist is intoxicated or exhausted. They are responsible for stopping the driver if they think they are putting other motorists at risk.


In conclusion, it’s generally for a minor infraction when a cop pulls you over. Perhaps you were going too fast, or one of your headlights may have broken. You may find some very bizarre justifications for why police officers touch the rear of your vehicle as they near you online. Nevertheless, the advice above will be of great help to you in understanding the actual cause.