Force Science on Discovery Channel – Traffic Stop Study

Force Science (from your legal defense package) was featured on the Discovery Channel.  Watch their traffic stop study by clicking the link below.


“As you watch this program, take note of the one officer in the film clip who asks that the driver put his right hand in plain sight,” says FSI Executive Director Dr. Bill Lewinski. “One of the initial observations we made as the study played out is the critical importance of immediately controlling the hands during a traffic stop. Obviously that’s an oft-taught foundational officer safety principle, but we had the opportunity to repeatedly observe over a period of several days a real-time underscoring of just how crucial it is.

“In debriefings with the driver/assailant throughout the study it became clear that those officers who did not allow him to keep his right hand (the gun hand) hidden made it much more difficult for him to control the cadence of his distracting dialogue and the timing of his attack. Asking to see that hidden hand didn’t prevent the attack once the officer was positioned at either the driver’s or passenger’s window, depending on his/her approach, but it did put pressure on the suspect to launch the assault more quickly than he otherwise may have wanted, thus throwing him ‘off balance.’ The order to produce the right hand did not allow the driver time to more calmly calculate the timing of the event, thus potentially reducing his ‘effectiveness’ as the result of time pressure.

“Ordering that both hands be put in plain view also demonstrates a level of tactical awareness that, as FBI studies have confirmed, can be potentially life-saving when dealing with a subject who unbeknownst to you is considering an attack. Again, in debriefings with the driver it was clear that officers who demanded to see both hands were not going to be ‘easy’ targets.

“The driver confirmed that his pre-attack anxiety escalated when confronted by tactically astute officers. Conversely, he also reported that his perceived level of control of the contact and his confidence in more effectively catching the officer off guard at the point of attack were noticeably increased when allowed to keep his right hand hidden.

“Although recording the frequency with which a hidden hand was ordered to be produced didn’t start out as an element of this study, it quickly became clear that this was an extremely important issue to observe and address. More details on this and many more findings will be released after all of our data is evaluated.”