Everyday on my way to and from work, I see some interesting things on the road. For instance, just yesterday on my way home, I was cut off by a van who crossed into other lanes dangerously. Most of the time, I honk my horn at them or scowl. But then I asked myself, “what would I need to do to report a reckless driver?” Working for an auto accident attorney, I am much more aware of my driving. And even more so aware of other people’s driving. Below are some tips on how to report reckless drivers who put themselves and others in danger on the road. If you are suffering from serious injuries and are in need of a car accident lawyer, contact us today. Consultations with an attorney in our office are free!
Auto Accident Attorney | Dangers of Reckless Driving
Did you know that thousands of people die every year due to a reckless driver? Reporting a reckless driver can actually help keep the roads safe. Make sure if you are going to report a reckless driver, pull over to a safe location and call the police. You will need to provide the police with a basic description of the car. However, if you can remember the details of the car and perhaps a license plate number, you can report a driver online. Never risk your own life when reporting someone. That includes following them or participating in a road rage incident.
Knows the Signs & Collect Evidence
It’s not difficult to be able to see the signs that someone is driving recklessly. You should know that it is not necessary to report any infraction on the road. Only report serious traffic violations. And only call the police if you believe that you and others are at serious risk of being involved in an accident. Some common signs of reckless behavior that you should report include the following:
- Driving exceedingly over or below the posted speed limit;
- Weaving between cars and lanes;
- Drifting between lanes or driving between two lanes;
- Ignoring posted traffic signals and signs;
- Excessive swerving;
- Street racing
These are just the several that are the most common. Of course if you see someone who seems to clearly be under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, report it immediately.
It can be difficult to gather “evidence” when you are in traffic or on the road and don’t have time to grab a pen and paper. If you can, memorize the make and model of the vehicle. The color will be important as well. This will be extremely helpful when you are reporting the car to the police. If you are unable to identify the make and model of the car, do your best to pay attention to the other distinctive details of the vehicle.
- What state is the license plate from?
- Is it a two or four door?
- What color is the vehicle?
- Are there any distinctive bumper stickers or marks on the car?
- How many people were in the car that you could tell?
Just keeping an open mind and an open eye on all of these will be extremely helpful when you report the driver to the police.
If there is anyone in the car with you, ask the passenger to take down any information they can. License plate number, etc. Or perhaps they may be able to get a distinct picture of the vehicle. If you are the only one in the car, do not attention to get the information if it is too dangerous to do so. You will put yourself and others on the road in danger.
Mount a Dash-Cam
Believe it or not, dash cameras in everyday cars are becoming quite common and popular. The dash cam will allow you to easily be able to report an accident or a reckless driver. And you can give the recording to the police as evidence.
- Dash-cams can be bought online or at an electronics store;
- Some apps, like Nexar, turn your phone into a dash-cam. However, you will need to purchase a special dashboard mount for your phone. There also can be bought online or an electronic store
Reporting a Reckless Driver
If you are able to (or if your passenger can), call the police and report the driver right away. If you are alone in your car, move to a safe place on the side of the road or find a nearby parking lot and call the police. Call an emergency number if people’s lives are in serious danger. Describe the car and tell them where it was headed. Try to give the police as much information as possible.
- Ex: “I’d like to report a reckless driver. There’s a red pickup truck with a California license plate weaving dangerously in and out of traffic going South on the 5 freeway. I am near the Irvine Spectrum. They are swerving between lanes and are about to cause an accident.”
If the situation is not dangerous, call the non-emergency number. And tell them the same information. This will help the police be on the lookout for the driver.
Call the Number on “How’s my driving” stickers
If the vehicle is a utility or company vehicle, they usually have a sticker that says, “how’s my driving” with a number included. Usually they include the phone number and the vehicle ID. Use these to lodge your complaint. Similarly, if the truck does not have a number or ID, you can always call the company the driver works for and report them to the company. Make sure to take down the license plate number and any other important information.
Filing a Report from Home
Did you know that there is a national database where you can file a report against a reckless driver? Collect as much information as you can and report them on reportdangerousdrivers.com. Or there is an app called Bad Driver you can use to report them.
Many local police departments have online forms you can fill out in order to report reckless drivers.
There are so many ways you can report someone whose reckless driving puts you and others on the road in jeopardy. Never feel ashamed or embarrassed to do so. You can save someone from a potentially dangerous situation.