What Should You Do If You See An Out-Of-Control Driver But You’re Not Involved Directly In An Accident?
Everyone who travels on South Carolina roads sees drivers who drive carelessly or recklessly. In some cases, you may see one of these drivers nearly miss a crash; in others, the driver and those around them may not be so lucky.
If you spot a careless, reckless, or otherwise out-of-control driver on South Carolina roads, you can take steps to protect yourself and others. If you witness a crash, be prepared with the following tips.
What to Do If You See a Reckless Driver in South Carolina
Unsafe driving patterns come in many forms. You may see a truck drift across several lanes, a car tailgating another passenger car, a car squeezing in front of a semi-truck last minute, or other careless driving patterns from drivers. On I-26 alone, extreme speeding, and construction zones may cause drivers to be involved in a serious crash with an unsafe driver.
If you spot an out-of-control driver:
- Safety first. If you’re driving, keep your eyes on the driver and the road ahead. Let the unsafe driver get ahead of you if possible. It’s easier to see the driver and respond to them if they are in front of your vehicle where you can see them.
- Be an extra set of eyes. If you’re a passenger, use your time during a ride to watch the road along with the driver. If you spot unsafe actions from vehicles around you, alert your driver right away.
- Report unsafe driving. In a true emergency, call 911. You can also dial *47 to contact SCDOT.
Resources are also available to submit dashcam footage online. If you happen to record unsafe driving, find a safe place to exit the roadway and park your vehicle before contacting police or sharing the footage you have captured.
What to Do If You See a Reckless Driver Cause a Crash in South Carolina
If you spot an unsafe driver whose behavior causes a crash:
- Always put safety first. Find a safe place to stop your own vehicle. Watch the roadway around you carefully.
- Call 911. A crash is an emergency, no matter who was involved or how badly they were injured. Call 911 as soon as you can do so safely. If you’re a passenger, call 911 immediately so your driver can focus on parking your vehicle safely.
- Take notes. As soon as possible, make notes or draw a diagram to show what you saw in the moments leading up to the crash. What did the unsafe driver do? What did the other vehicle or people involved in the crash do? Where were you, and what could you see or hear?
- Cooperate with law enforcement. If you speak to police or first responders, stick to the facts: who, what, when, where, and how you saw or heard the accident take place. If you’re asked to speak to insurance companies, attorneys, or other parties in the weeks following the crash, rely on the facts.
- Don’t try to get in the unsafe driver’s head. It can be tempting to try to guess why an unsafe or reckless driver behaved the way they did. You may suspect the driver was drugged, drunk, joyriding, or simply didn’t care about other people’s safety. No matter which reason makes sense to you, remember that it’s important to describe what you saw or heard, not what you concluded. “I saw the car swerve across the lane in front of us before hitting the other car” is a more helpful description than “That guy was driving drunk.”
- Get the support you need. Watching an accident happen can rattle you. Even if you’re not injured, seeing a severe crash happen and being helpless to stop it can be traumatic. Reach out to a licensed therapist or medical professional if needed. Lean on the people in your life who support you, like your friends, family, or religious community.
Experienced South Carolina Car Accident Attorneys are Here to Help
Even if you’re not injured in a crash with a reckless driver, you may become involved if you are a witness. Consider scheduling a consultation with a South Carolina car accident lawyer if you have specific questions about your involvement in the case. A lawyer can help you understand the situation and your role in it.
If you or someone you know is injured in a crash, don’t wait: Talk to an experienced South Carolina car accident lawyer today. An attorney can answer your questions and help you choose the right path forward, so you can focus on healing.