When you got pulled over last, you probably noticed the officer taps your tail light. It's not because they're busting it out so they can write you a ticket. They do it for safety, since when stopping a vehicle, the officer has no idea what they're in for when they approach it.

According to Considerable, one reason for the tap is to act as sort of a distraction. If someone in the vehicle is reaching for a weapon, or hiding something they shouldn't have, the tap will most definitely startle them, hopefully pausing them long enough to approach the vehicle.

The other reason, and what is generally taught, is to leave a fingerprint behind. Should anything happen to the officer, from abduction to worse, there is physical proof that the officer was at the vehicle.

Considerable says the use of "the tap" has fallen out of practice in the age of body and dashboard cameras, as any evidence needed will be in the cloud from at least two different camera angles.

After talking to a listener this morning who is a former police officer we heard a whole differnt reason than listed above. The man, who we'll call "Officer Friendly", told us that one of the main reasons is to check the trunk. The officer may not be checking the light, but maybe tapping the trunk to see that's it's secured both for their safety but also to make sure that there's no one in there.

Which totally makes sense seeing as a police officer never knows what situation that they're walking into. Officer safety ultimately is the main reason, and that's good enough for me.

But really, none of us have anything to worry about because we don't speed or have anything to hide in our car. Do we?

Read more at Considerable

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