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How to spot a reckless driver

Reckless and negligent driving may not seem like a big deal to the reckless driver, but only a few moments of distraction can result in a lifetime of consequences. Unfortunately, there is very little a safe driver can do to correct reckless or negligent behavior while it is happening on the road, so it is up to the safe driver to identify and avoid these threats on the road.

Every day, more than 16,000 car crashes happen. By spotting a possible accident before it happens, a driver can do their part in making the road a safer place. Here are four signs of a reckless driver:

Swerving or drifting

If a driver is not looking at the road or their hands are not on the wheel for even a few seconds, their car may begin to drift into another lane or off the road. A negligent driver may also be trying to multitask and drive with only one hand while also attempting to eat or fix their appearance.

Road rage

If a driver is laying on their horn a lot or making wild gestures in their car, this may be a sign that their anger has overwhelmed their driving skills. When drivers become too aggressive, they can fail to see important things like another car trying to merge or upcoming road construction.

Using their phone

A cell phone can become extremely dangerous on the road. The distraction of sending a text or updating the GPS can result in a driver not looking at the road for hundreds of yards if driving at high speeds. If a driver is looking downward for long amounts of time, there is a good chance they are on their phone and not paying attention to the road.

Ignoring traffic laws

If a car is speeding 20 mph over the speed limit and weaving in between lanes on the road, it should come as no surprise they are a reckless driver. It is easy to spot someone speeding in front of you or as they pass by, but it can be very difficult to recognize a speeder approaching you from behind. Make sure to check your mirrors to spot these dangerous drivers regularly.

How you can respond

If you see a driver that you suspect is driving recklessly, allow the vehicle to gain a safe distance ahead of you. Attempting to correct their behavior by shouting or honking at them may shock them from their distraction, and the resulting overcorrection can cause an accident. Similarly, do not speed ahead of them, as this could also startle them.