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See a Distracted Driver? Call 911 to Get Them off the Road

When driving, one of the things you hate seeing is a driver who is weaving in and out of traffic. You know that they're not safe and that their actions could lead to a crash. 

Whenever someone is weaving, you have a decision to make. Should you get their license plate number and pull over to call the police? Should you try to get their attention to see if they need help? What you do could make a difference in their life and yours.

What should you do if you see a reckless driver?

The safest thing to do in that situation is to call 911 or the non-emergency police line, depending on the situation, to report the dangerous driver. If you can get the license plate ID, that will help the police track down the vehicle and pull it over.

Some people feel it's better not to report someone unless there has been a crash, but it's usually better to report the dangerous driver before anything bad happens. Once a collision occurs, there is no way to reverse the damage that has been done. Though an arrest or traffic stop might negatively impact the other driver, you could also be helping to save them from themselves and be preventing a serious collision.

If you see a distracted driver, try to get the license plate number and then back away, so that there is space between your vehicle and theirs. When you speak to the police, make sure you report what kinds of behaviors you see, too. For example, you may want to say that the driver is:

  • Weaving in and out of the lanes
  • Speeding
  • Going off the road
  • Hitting rumble strips
  • Side-swiping other vehicles
  • Stopping and going unexpectedly

The description you give will help the police know what to look for and help them discuss the driver's behaviors with them.

Today, many people drive while they're distracted, but they shouldn't. While phones, radios, GPS systems and other distractions are present, it's up to drivers to make sure that they stay focused on the road. If you are struck by a driver who was not paying attention to the road, speeding or driving recklessly, remember that you may have a right to file a claim against them. A good claim may be able to provide you with the compensation you need as you focus on your recovery.

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