What do you do when you encounter a reckless driver on the road?
First, stay at a safe distance from the vehicle. Change lanes, make a turn, or pull to the side of the road. If the situation seems dangerous, call 9-1-1 and report the reckless driver.
When you call 9-1-1, provide the dispatcher with all the relevant information about the vehicle so they can alert the nearest police officer. Reporting a reckless driver can help law enforcement make an emergency response in order to prevent a serious crash.
What Constitutes Reckless Driving?
The term reckless driving applies to irresponsible driving behavior that puts lives at risk. Drivers who go beyond the speed limit, are distracted while texting, are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or are notorious tailgaters are considered dangerous because they can cause serious injuries.
Road accidents resulting from reckless driving often lead to tragic consequences that could have been easily prevented had the driver exercised good judgment and common sense while behind the wheel.
If you happen to see a reckless driver – whether you are crossing the street, waiting for the bus, or driving yourself – you could prevent future tragedies by reporting the incident.
How Do You Report a Reckless Driver in Michigan?
The best way to report a reckless driver in the state of Michigan is to call 9-1-1. Please do NOT call the police or any branch of law enforcement.
Try to recall every detail about the driver and the vehicle when you call 9-1-1. Provide the dispatcher with information like the make, color and model of the vehicle, direction where the vehicle is headed, and a description of the driver if you had a clear view.
The 9-1-1 operator will connect you to the nearest dispatch center and to the driver you are reporting. They will also arrange for any emergency response that is needed, such as the police, fire department, paramedics, and road commission personnel.
Why You Should NOT Call the State or Local Police
If you call your local police department or the Michigan State Police to report a reckless driver, the response will be the same – they will tell you to call 9-1-1. You will only be wasting precious minutes when the situation calls for prompt action.
Calling 9-1-1 directly improves the chances that law enforcement will be able to respond right away and prevent a tragic accident.
What is Reckless Driving Under Michigan Law?
Reckless driving is defined by Michigan law as driving on a “highway or a frozen public lake, stream, or pond, or other place open to the general public, including designated parking areas, in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” (MCL 257.626)
What Does Michigan Law Consider as Reckless Driving?
Examples of reckless driving in Michigan include:
- Driving above the speed limit
- Driving too fast for road conditions
- Texting while driving
- Drunk driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Disregarding traffic signs and signals
What is the Penalty for Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving is considered a misdemeanor in Michigan, punishable by 93 days in jail or a $500 fine, or both.
If a reckless driver causes serious impairment of a body function to another person, the offending party is charged with a felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment or a fine of up to $5,000 or both.
If a reckless driver causes the death of another person, the offending party is charged with a felony punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment or a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
What Should You Do If You Get Injured in a Reckless Driving Incident?
If a reckless driver hits you and you need advice on your legal rights, call our experienced personal injury attorneys at (517) 347-6900 for a free consultation. We can help you file for pain and suffering compensation, economic damages, and No-Fault benefits in Michigan.
With offices in Okemos and Lansing, Our Lansing auto accident attorneys have over 30 years of trial experience. We understand the stress of going to court on top of recovering from your injuries. If you work with us, we will make sure we get you the best possible results.
You may send us your pertinent documents for review at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop a message on the contact form on our website.