Many innocent people in California get hurt because someone on the road is driving recklessly. Their behavior puts you at risk of sustaining severe injuries, suffering permanent disability or even losing your life. Here’s what to do if you spot someone endangering your life.
What is reckless driving?
California law describes reckless driving as “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” In other words, it is knowingly and intentionally putting others at risk of motor vehicle accidents.
Ways reckless driving can manifest itself
- Distracted driving: When a driver takes their attention off the road and does something like using their phone, eating or fiddling with the radio, they are distracted. Distracted drivers are 23 times more likely to cause an accident than other drivers.
- Speeding: It’s easy to lose control when the car is going too fast. Even when the driver tries to stop out of an emergency, it will take them a long time and distance, thus putting people’s lives in danger.
- Tailgating: This occurs when a driver follows another vehicle too closely without leaving enough space to brake. Tailgating is especially dangerous in wet or icy conditions when it takes longer for a car to come to a stop.
- Driving while impaired: Driving while tired or under the influence of a drug is extremely dangerous. Your brain cannot function at its best when you’re dozing off or losing concentration.
What to do when a driver drives recklessly
If you witness a driver behaving recklessly on the road, the best thing to do is call 911 and report their license plate number, the location and a description of their vehicle. This will help authorities track them and hopefully stop them before they cause an accident.
You should also try to avoid driving near a reckless driver if possible. If you must drive near them, be sure to give yourself plenty of space in case they make a sudden move. Never attempt to confront a reckless driver; this could escalate the situation and put you in danger.
If you do get into an accident, the reckless driver may be liable for your injuries, damages to your car, and pain and suffering caused by the crash. You’ll want to be sure to gather sufficient evidence at the accident scene like photos, videos, and witness names and statements.