What should I do if I encounter a reckless driver?

Find out how to report reckless drivers. Also, get information on what constitutes a reckless driver and when you should make a report.

Reckless drivers on West Virginia roadways put everyone at risk. Whether they are under the influence of a substance, distracted or otherwise not driving properly, drivers like this should never stay on the road. That is why it is up to other drivers to report them to authorities so they can take the proper steps to prevent them from causing any harm.

Reckless driving defined

The West Virginia Legislature defines driving as reckless when a driver takes actions that show no regard for the safety of others or the property of others. For example, driving while intoxicated is reckless. It is also reckless to drive too fast or swerve all over the road. A person may also drive reckless if he or she passes another vehicle without assuring there is a clear path to do so. It can take many forms, but the bottom line is reckless driving puts others at risk for bodily injury and property damage.

How to report a reckless driver

In order to ensure reckless drivers do not stay on the road, law enforcement needs the help of other drivers. Anyone who sees someone driving in a dangerous manner should report it to the authorities. There are a couple ways a person can do this.

One option, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Service, is calling the nearest law enforcement office directly. A quick way to get this number is to dial 2-1-1. This information line provides access to helpful numbers, such as police departments, sheriff's offices and state highway patrol posts.

The other option is to call 9-1-1. Consumer Reports cautions that drivers should only use this emergency number when there is an immediate danger. For example, if the driver is likely to cause an accident or the driving is getting worse, then these would constitute emergency situations.

Staying safe when reporting

To begin with, drivers should never try to stop or interfere with a reckless driver. This only makes the situation riskier and puts the driver in danger. A driver should keep his or her distance from the dangerous vehicle and never follow the vehicle. If possible, a driver should get as much information as he or she can about the driver and vehicle to provide to law enforcement when reporting the incident. Drivers should remember not to make the call while driving. Instead, they should pull over or let a passenger make the call.

If you are in an accident due to a reckless driver, then make sure to get proper legal help. An attorney, such as those at Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler, PLLC, can offer help in getting you what you rightfully deserve.