Why Do The Police Touch Cars? (9 Reasons Why)

When we see the police flashing or chasing a car on our local streets or highways, we immediately assume they are pursuing a criminal or perhaps an offender.

However, sometimes there are different reasons why they go after a vehicle. Here’s what I’m going to prove why police officers intentionally tap your car!

Why Do the Police Touch Cars?

Police officers touch cars because tapping a vehicle is a communication tool for car investigation. Consequently, it is to prove that that officer was with that car. He’ll usually run a vehicle inspection to check for signs of trouble. Additionally, the objective is to ensure that the trunk is securely fastened and no one is about to leap out!

Keep on reading to learn about why police officers frequently stroke your car!

1. A Touch Is A Communication Tool For Car Investigation

Haptic communication, a subset of nonverbal intelligence, describes how people and animals connect and transmit through touch.

On the other hand, police officers touch cars because tapping a car corresponds to the officer who was with that car and was involved in the investigation.

Besides that, it proves that they have probable cause to search the driver, which is often an essential part of the inspection.

As a result, touching a car proves they are investigating the vehicle and examining anything inside it!

2. Proving That That Officer Was With That Car

Police officers are often challenged to prove that they were near an incident.

Additionally, they may be called to a scene where they find a car or truck that has been reported to be involved in a possible crime.

In this case, the police officer needs to make sure that they can prove their presence in the setting and that they have evidence to support their claim.

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Overall, tapping a car can help them with their investigations by proving that they had been with that car when the incident occurred!

3. Verify That The Trunk Is Shut

A part of a car that is frequently overlooked is the trunk.

In most cases, it’s often hard to tell whether someone has something illegal in their trunk without looking inside the car first.

However, it can also be used to transport drugs or other narcotics. From there, police agents are trained to search for evidence in all areas of the vehicle, including the bunk.

For that reason, it is done to ensure everyone’s safety so that the driver won’t be able to conceal anything while the officer is opening the trunk!

4. Validates Through Officer’s Prints

In order to collect fingerprints from a car’s exterior, officers will use a device called an AFIS (Automatic Fingerprint Identification System).

At this time, when a police officer stops someone for a traffic violation, they must perform a “consent search” or a pat-down search.

In the event, officers will tap cars to feel for anything suspicious underneath or around them throughout their vehicle’s surface area.

Above all, one indication that an officer has checked out and examined the vehicle is their fingerprint!

5. Establishing Their Authority

Establishing Their Authority

Authority is the capacity to direct, counsel, or command subordinates and compel them to carry out tasks.

In some cases, the officer may also make contact with the car in an attempt to gain compliance or simply as a means of establishing their authority.

As well as that, this can be done to get the driver’s attention for penalties such as traffic violations or a possible threat of violence.

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Due to the driver’s bad behavior and recklessness, police officers tap cars to establish dominance and authority!

6. To Control The Scene

Police personnel must ensure everything is under control after a car accident to prevent further injury.

Subsequently, this would entail looking for any wounds and safeguarding that everyone involved in the accident receives the appropriate care.

Moreover, they search for information that might point them in the offender’s direction, such as fingerprints or other hints. In this way, they can establish whether foul play was made.

This is why, to maintain control of the situation or ensure that no one else is hurt, the police officer touches and inspects a vehicle!

7. Find Out If There Is Any Illegal Activity

Police officers are the ones who are responsible for keeping law and order in their area.

On top of that, they must stop any illegal activity, including drug trafficking and illegal parking. Thus, they must keep things safe and secure for everyone else.

Under these circumstances, they can search your car without a warrant if they suspect you carry drugs or other illicit materials.

As a direct result, police officials would tap a vehicle to ensure no unlawful activity is taking place!

8. Scan Through The License Number

Officers must also check out the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on a vehicle before they touch it.

By that very fact, is because this will help them determine if there are any discrepancies with its registration and ownership history.

Apart from this, a scan will also help them know if any stolen property or other illegal items are inside the vehicle and identify individuals who may have been involved in a crime.

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In that case, it is easy for someone to fake a license plate number and make it look natural, so tapping on your vehicle will be the first move of any police officer!

9. Verify If The Driver Is Sober

Police utilize three field sobriety tests (FTSs) to evaluate whether a driver is intoxicated. The exercises test a driver’s ability to maintain balance, maintain coordination, and shift his focus between many tasks.

In an emergency, a driver may not be able to operate their vehicle. Therefore, this is essential for the officer to ensure that the driver is not under drugs or alcohol.

On the other hand, if they don’t suspect anything, they might take a random walk-around of your car to ensure everything is in order.

That is why police officers typically tap cars, to ensure that the driver is sober and make validations that everything is in order before making an arrest!

To know more, you can also read our posts on whether police cars have airbags, why you should call the police if your car alarm keeps going off, and why cars go to auction.


To ensure that the car is secure and undamaged, the police officer touches and leaves a stroke on it.

As demonstrated, police utilize touch as a communication technique while investigating cars since it shows that the officer was present at any crime scene.

Ultimately, touching a car is often a standard practice when police are looking for anything related to criminal activity and, most importantly, controlling the situation!

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