How to Report an Aggressive Driver

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It’s easy to forget that our safety on the road is hugely dependent on how everyone acts. If even a single irresponsible or aggressive driver takes to the road, things could get dangerous for everyone in a hurry.

Many of us fail to realize that, but remember, even one vehicle could be the reason for a multi-car pileup and numerous injuries. People may also die if they share the road with a reckless driver.

Every one of us must take an active role in keeping the streets free from those dangerous drivers. This article will help you better identify those aggressive drivers and it will also detail how you can report them to the proper authorities.

What Is Aggressive Driving?

As drivers, they teach us to do a few things whenever we are on the road.

They teach us to obey all traffic laws in the area, be cautious behind the wheel, and be courteous to one another. They are basic guidelines that make us feel safer whenever we travel.

Unfortunately, some drivers don’t always abide by those basic guidelines. Because of their desire to get to their destination as soon as possible, some drivers will throw caution to the wind as they speed up. Some will even go out of their way to endanger fellow motorists with the way they behave because they can.

Aggressive driving can take many forms.

There are aggressive driving practices that are illegal.

Running your car past a red light is never allowed, and yet some people still try it because they think that either no one will notice, or they’ll be too fast for anyone to keep track of them. Speeding is yet another manifestation of aggressive driving behavior, and yes, that too is explicitly against the law.

Some aggressive driving practices are illegal in some states, but not in others.

A good example of that is tailgating. Tailgating is the practice of driving closely behind another vehicle to the point where there is not enough distance for the car in front to stop safely without getting rear-ended. The practice can be dangerous, but it is not against the law everywhere in the United States.

Do note that not all forms of aggressive driving are against the law.

Weaving within your lane is an aggressive style of driving, but they don’t consider it illegal. To be fair, you can weave inside your lane safely, but there are instances where it becomes dangerous.

Aggressive driving is not only how you control your vehicle. It can be in the form of road rage.

Aggressive driving can involve one person cursing or yelling at someone else. There’s a chance that the situation may escalate and lead to further conflict or a vehicular accident.

You should avoid aggressive driving whenever possible, regardless of whether or not you are violating any laws. If you still maintain that aggressiveness on the road, know that doing so can lead to some dire consequences.

aggressive driver yelling

How Dangerous Is Aggressive Driving?

Car accidents happen. We understand that as a reality of life.

People may suffer a heart attack while they’re driving, thus leading to an accident. Some parts of the vehicle may also break down, rendering it incapable of stopping, and that could lead to a disaster taking place on the road.

Those incidents are truly unfortunate, but they are rare. It’s hard to place blame on the drivers when incidents like those happen.

The same cannot be said when the incident that occurs is the result of aggressive driving.

While people may get to their destinations faster if they decide to drive aggressively, the consequences of their actions could be quite severe. The statistics paint a troubling picture.

Consider that 66 % of traffic casualties were due in part to someone driving recklessly. It’s a deadly form of behavior, and as much possible, people should refrain from exhibiting it.

How Prevalent Is Aggressive Driving?

Now that we understand how potentially dangerous driving recklessly can be, let’s take a moment to grasp how often it takes place.

We talked about tailgating earlier, and even though this is a driving maneuver deemed illegal in certain parts of the country, it still happens a lot. Unfortunately, 51 % of drivers were estimated to have engaged in the practice of tailgating intentionally, and that comes out to about 104 million individuals.

A lot of drivers also struggle with controlling their anger. Estimates suggest that around 67 million drivers have given in to their rage by making angry gestures at other people on the road.

As soon as you start directing angry gestures at someone or perhaps yelling at them, things may escalate from there. The estimates from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicate that those incidents do happen often.

Road confrontations between drivers happened around 8 million times per those same estimates.

You can see there is a problem plaguing many drivers across the country. We cannot ignore this problem because everyone on the road is in danger whenever an aggressive driver is behind the wheel.

One thing you can do when you observe someone driving aggressively and carelessly is to report them.

How Do You Report an Aggressive Driver?

It’s your responsibility as a driver to keep yourself and everyone in your vehicle safe, but that’s not the full extent of it. Whenever possible, you should also keep an eye out for others who are on the road with you, which is why you should report aggressive drivers.

Here are some of the ways for you to report those dangerous drivers.

Make Use of Your Dash Cam

The ease of reporting a reckless driver can be determined by what kind of equipment you have installed in your car. Those with dash cams installed will have an easier time reporting because they can record the incident as it happens. They can share that footage with law enforcement in the area to prove that a specific driver was endangering others.

If you cannot go to law enforcement right away, hold on to the footage you have and take it to the authorities sometime later. Alternatively, you can go online and upload your dash cam footage to websites that host them. There’s no guarantee that law enforcement will see your video, but at least other motorists will be aware of the dangers a driver could present.

Rely on a Passenger to Report the Aggressive Driver

Let’s say that your car does not have a dash cam installed, how can you report an aggressive driver in that scenario? If you have a passenger along for your trip, reporting should still be easy enough.

Ask your passenger to take out their smartphone so that they can record some footage of the reckless driver in action. Your passenger must make sure that the plate number of the car is visible in the video.

After they gather the evidence, you can instruct your friend to dial 911 if you believe that the driver poses an imminent threat to others. If the driver is acting erratically, but you don’t think he/she is about to cause trouble, it may be better to call the police’s non-emergency hotline first.

Some vehicles also have stickers plastered on them that feature a number to call if you want to report the driver. Your passenger can dial that number and issue a complaint.

While your passenger is busy recording evidence and contacting the authorities, your job is to stay safe. Avoid following the aggressive driver too closely. As soon as you start to feel that you are in any kind of danger, get as far away from the reckless driver.

Pull Over and Make the Report Yourself

With no passenger in the car or a dash cam installed, reporting a dangerous driver becomes harder to pull off. Your actions are more limited in that scenario.

What you can do is to pull over to a safe spot and make the call to the police yourself. Try to remember the plate number of the vehicle you saw moving dangerously and share it with the authorities.

Once again, the non-emergency number for the police in the area should do if the driver is not endangering anyone yet, but if you suspect that something bad may happen soon, go ahead and call 911.

Use a Dedicated App to File a Report

Smartphones can do about anything. That includes helping you file reports about the dangerous driver.

You can now use these apps to send those reports in as well.

A good one to use is the Bad Driver Database. The app, which is available on both Android and Apple devices, allows users to report irresponsible drivers.

You or your passenger can take a picture of the dangerous driver’s license number and then upload that to the database. Other app users can then refer to what you uploaded and avoid that particular driver. You can similarly avoid other reckless drivers by using the database.

Both Google Play and the Apple App Store have other apps that are useful for keeping tabs on dangerous drivers. Feel free to check those out as well.

File a Report When You Get Home

You can also file an aggressive driver report from home. As soon as you get home, turn on your computer and see if the police or the DMV in your area have forms available for reporting aggressive drivers.

Obviously, reporting the dangerous driver this way means they may not be apprehended or cited right away. Still, it’s worth the effort on your end if the authorities spot the driver.

angry uber driver

How Do You Report Aggressive Uber or Lyft Drivers?

You would expect drivers for ridesharing services to be calmer and more careful on the road. That is not always the case, however. Like everyone else, Uber and Lyft drivers are susceptible to road rage.

If your Uber or Lyft driver starts to act carelessly, you should take the time to report them.

Both ridesharing companies provide forms on their respective websites you can use to report issues you have with your ride. You can also choose to report the aggressive driver via the app you were using. Select the ride in question that featured the dangerous driver and let Uber or Lyft know about how that person behaved.

This action is hugely important because it could save other riders from having an unpleasant experience. It could even potentially prevent an accident from taking place.

How Can You Avoid Confrontations with Aggressive Drivers?

Aggressive drivers can pop up out of nowhere. What should you do if you notice one nearby and want to avoid escalation at all costs?

The first thing you can do is to distance yourself from the problematic driver. Tailgating is a real no-no in that kind of situation.

Now, some drivers may provoke you into a confrontation by yelling or perhaps gesturing menacingly toward you. It’s easy to fall victim to those taunts, but that is not going to benefit anyone. Keep your cool and ignore the driver as you attempt to distance yourself.

It’s also possible that you are the one who will be acting aggressively while driving. Do not give in to that urge and always remember that getting angry on the road can only lead to bad outcomes.

You should also avoid driving altogether if you are feeling stressed out. Even a minor incident on the road can cause you to overreact if you are already under a lot of stress. As much as possible, you want to avoid being on the road if you do have that outburst because of how dangerous that could be.

If you wind up in an accident due to a driver’s aggressive behavior, do not hesitate to take legal action. Contact Batta Fulkerson as soon as you can to pursue that case and make sure that the aggressive driver learns his/her lesson.