If someone "pulls to a stop" when driving, does it indicate that that someone stops the car abruptly/suddenly and forcefully?
You can say either of the following:
- I quickly (and forcefully) pulled to a stop.
- I slowly (and gently) pulled to a stop.
Since the phrase can be modified by either adverb, the phrase itself doesn't necessarily imply one more than the other on its own.
Although some people might associate it more with one style of stopping, I think the term itself is objectively neutral. (No pun intended …)
On a side note, I've personally always visually associated pull with pulling the hand brake.
In other words:
I pulled [the brake] to [bring the car to] a stop.
Of course, the car is itself stopped by pushing the pedal brake. However, pulling the hand brake prevents it from moving again. As such, when I hear the phrase what I picture is somebody stopping the car and pulling the hand brake. I've never equated the phrase with how quickly the car stops.