- Car Safety & Safe Driving
How To Report Dangerous Drivers
Whether you are watching a driver who may be drunk or an incident of road rage, there are occasions where we need to report dangerous drivers on the road. What is the right way to report dangerous drivers? And how do you report bad drivers without endangering yourself?
Reporting Truly Dangerous Drivers
You've watched one driver cut off another and now they are weaving and darting through traffic, screaming insults at one another. These drivers could hurt one another or an innocent bystander. Call 911 to report the dangerous drivers.
Not all dangerous drivers are violent. Call 911 if you see someone in a moving vehicle slumped over the wheel. They may have passed out due to alcohol consumption, or it could be due to a medical condition like low blood sugar. Call the emergency line and report the problem.
Remember to use a hands free device when making the call or pulling over first. It does no use to take your eyes off the road and crash yourself while trying to report dangerous conditions.
Young and Dangerous
Young drivers and riders on the road can be in and of themselves a hazard. Pre-teens on dune buggies and four wheelers are a danger to themselves as well as those in cars. Young children in motorized car toys and toy cars in the street could be hit.
When you see children - whether preschool or pre-teen - on the road, first stop and warn them to get out of the road. If they don't comply or are too young to understand, call 911 if you don't see their parents nearby.
If you observe teenagers who are too young to be driving trying to operate vehicles without adult supervision, call the local police department before someone gets hurt.
How to Report Repeatedly Dangerous Drivers
Repeat offenders are usually local neighbors you've witnessed driving dangerously. Don't confront them about driving too fast through school zones or hot-rodding on residential streets. Instead, write down the date, time, vehicle description and behavior of the driver.
A written log with multiple offenses has more weight with the police than a frantic phone call. Record the license plate number when you do not know the person's address.
If possible, use a cell phone camera to create a video of the dangerous driver, since this gives confirmation of the driver's behavior and generates a date and time stamp for the event. A side benefit is the fact that police have to see something happen to arrest someone. They cannot arrest someone based of phoned in reports of racing, but they can act if they have video showing someone deliberately speeding down streets and almost hitting pedestrians or cutting off drivers obeying the law.
If there is a neighborhood watch in your area, discuss your concerns with the neighborhood watch captain. There may already been multiple but individual reports or recordings that once collated would become a police report.
Reporting Dangerous Commercial Vehicles
Call the phone number on the back of the vehicle under the "report my driving" or "how is my driving sticker?" notice. If possible, drive behind the vehicle so that you can report the full license plate number and vehicle identifier. The hotline for reporting bad driving may be a third party service paid by the commercial transport firm or be answered by its logistics department.
If the dangerous driver is in a commercial vehicle, call 911 before you report him or her to the driving hotline number frequently shown on the back of the truck.
Safety Tips When Reporting Dangerous Drivers
Don't drive aggressively yourself to tail the dangerous driver. Maintain at least several car lengths between you and the dangerous driver to reduce the risk of a wreck. If the driver goes off the road, slow down and pull over if possible. You've become a witness to an accident and are legally obligated to give your account to police.
When you come across an accident site, your first obligation is to call it in to 911 or local police. Render assistance if it is necessary, but be mindful of your own safety. If the driver is belligerent or aggressive, maintain a safe distance and record or document everything you can.