You’ve seen it before. You’re driving behind someone who is driving erratically or speeding excessively. You try to keep your distance, and also know you must continue to drive with the flow of traffic. You sense impending danger and you don’t want to cause or be a part of a traffic accident. What should you do to ensure the safety of you, your passengers and those around you?
Erratic and excessive speed drivers are on the road all the time. Luckily for us, most of us don’t see those drivers on a daily basis. If we did we probably would never take to the streets again. Drivers drive erratically and with excessive speed for all sorts of reasons: intoxication, experiencing a heart attack or seizure, joyriding with friends, driving on a dare, permanent or temporarily physical or mental impairment, and many other reasons. Each case is as different as a given situation. What should you do if you encounter some speed racers, drag racers or other erratic drivers on the road?
- The first thing you should do is pull over—or better yet, pull off—the road. It may not do much good to simply keep your distance, as you may still come up on that person stopped at a light.
- The next thing to do is call 9-1-1 and report your location. Try to look for identifiable cross streets or landmarks.
- If you must stay on the road, be sure to drive defensively.
- Try to obtain the type of car and license plate. Take a photo if taking the photo does not distract you or take your eyes off the road. If you have a passenger who can videotape that person, your tape might come in handy.
- If you happen to see an oncoming erratic driver, flash your lights, honk your horn and pull off to the right.
Since we all see drivers who could be driving better, but cannot be considered erratic drivers, how do you know if the drive is actually impaired? Are there other warning signs that indicate that the driver is not driving normally? Here’s what you can look for:
- Wide turns or driving on the center line marker
- A car that hits another object.
- Excessive weaving and zigzagging
- Sudden or illegal turns
- Erratic braking.
If you are driving and have been hit, injured or disfigured as a result of an impaired or speeding driver, a lawsuit ahead is in your future. Be sure to enlist a competent Manhattan attorney to help settle your case so that you achieve the compensation you deserve.